- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Two abandoned properties in downtown Welch are slated to become apartment-style housing for public school teachers.

Reconnecting McDowell says in a news release that it bought the former Best Furniture and Katzen buildings, along with attached parking lots, for $92,000.

The public-private partnership says its board of directors will decide whether to renovate the buildings or demolish them.

The planned Teacher Village will have about 30 housing units, a coffee shop and other community amenities. It also will provide housing for other professionals.

Reconnecting McDowell says the county’s chronic teacher shortages are due in large part to a lack of housing.

Welch Mayor Reba Honaker says her city hasn’t had any substantial new housing construction in decades.

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