[Source: Alicia Barrón, Fox 11 News] -- A new center for artisan housing and workspaces is opening its doors after undergoing extreme renovations in Ajo, Arizona. The grand opening of Curley School Artisan Housing is scheduled for May 29th. This project will have 30 units for artists to live in and work. The school will also include classrooms, workshops, an indoor and outdoor auditorium, a micro-enterprise center and a computer lab.
Among those scheduled to attend the grand opening ceremony is Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva who will be the keynote speaker, State Historic Preservation Office for Arizona State Parks James Garrison, and Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry among others. The Curley School was originally constructed in 1919 as a public school in Ajo. In 2003 the Pima County Board of Supervisors allocated $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for pre-development costs for converting the school into artisan lofts. In 2005 International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA), a non-profit agency, secured additional funding from numerous sources to complete the project that cost over $9 million. The Curley School appears on the national register of historic places and qualifies as affordable housing units where artists of all mediums are welcome. For more information on the school, contact the International Sonoran Desert Alliance at (520) 387-6823.