Maeser School was built in 1898 as an eight room school house and was expanded later to be a larger elementary school. Historically significant for its association with Karl G. Maeser, one of Utah's "fathers of education," it has been recently converted into 31 apartment units for senior citizens. The Provo Housing Authority bought the building from the Provo City School District and soon after started the conversion process. The project could not have happened without the help of the mastermind behind it all: Douglas Carlson, Executive Director of the Provo Housing Authority. His vision and leadership saved a local historic landmark from being demolished.
Before any of the renovation began, the original chalkboards, complete with Karl G. Maeser's writings were removed and given to BYU Special Collections.
Renovations included seismic and structural upgrades to the building, and the installation of new electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. The entire masonry exterior of the building was tuck-pointed where mortar had deteriorated over the past 109 years. To restore the north side of the building, the 1957 addition was removed, bricked over windows were opened and replaced to match the historic windows. Wood elements were painted with historic paint colors.
The rehabilitated Maeser School is a project that will serve as a great catalyst for the future of the historic Maeser Neighborhood and is a model for every community on how to adapt a building for community revitalization.