Crews will relocate former Prescott College dorms for use as affordable housing

File art/The Daily Courier<br> The old dorms at Prescott College are on the move. Gary Denny and his crew will begin to move the homes Tuesday night. Denny said two of the homes are going to lots in Paulden and a third is going to a lot in Chino Valley until it sells.

File art/The Daily Courier<br> The old dorms at Prescott College are on the move. Gary Denny and his crew will begin to move the homes Tuesday night. Denny said two of the homes are going to lots in Paulden and a third is going to a lot in Chino Valley until it sells.

Change doesn't always mean destruction.

Take the old dorms at Prescott College.

New townhouses are under construction at the school, and the former freshman dorms there are getting repurposed, thanks to the school and a local businessman.

Gary Denny and his crew will start moving the houses to Chino Valley and Paulden late Tuesday night.

Denny said the homes are an affordable option for low-income buyers.

"The biggest feeling of accomplishment from house-moving comes from putting people in their first home - a home that they couldn't afford any other way," he said. "Just because a house is in the wrong place doesn't mean it's a bad house."

The fate of the dorms was briefly up in the air after the college began moving forward with plans to build new townhouses for future freshman classes.

James Pittman, director of sustainability at Prescott College, said keeping them intact for someone else to use was a priority for them.

"It's difficult to reuse every part of a building, so if you can reuse the building as whole piece, it's definitely much less of an environmental impact," he said.

Allan Crary with Haley Construction Co., which is working as the general contractor of the college's new student housing project, said the cost to dismantle the homes was in the $30,000 range.

"We just felt that it was going to be cost-prohibitive," he said. "It's always our intent to reuse these buildings one way or another."

Pittman said keeping the homes intact cuts labor costs and benefits everyone.

"Essentially, the value of the house is retained in a lot more effective manner if you keep it whole and use it for the original purpose it was built," he said. "Reuse is more ideal than recycling because there is no further energy output."

Two of the homes are pretty much spoken for and are going to lots in Paulden, and he's parking the third home on a lot in Chino Valley until it sells, according to Denny, who began moving homes more than 20 years ago.

"It's just great," he said of the house relocation. "They're a place to live."