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Apartment-style housing for teachers complete in WVa county

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — Construction of an apartment-style housing complex for teachers has been completed in a poor West Virginia county.

Construction on the $8 million Renaissance Village housing project started a year ago in the McDowell County community of Welch. The public-private group Reconnecting McDowell and the city of Welch say the apartments are now ready for renters.

The housing project is the centerpiece of a decade-long effort to revitalize the county’s schools and economy and is an effort to attract and retain teachers. The partnership also has worked to improve student performance in the county, including through a mentoring program.

The building has 16 apartments on two floors alongside two additional floors of retail and commercial space. Original plans called for up to five floors of apartments but turned out to be too expensive.

It’s the first new multistory construction in the community of 1,800 residents in more than 50 years.