Makeover begins at West Routt Housing

— Sections of walls in the three-building senior housing complex have been slowly rotting during the past 30 years, but now something is being done about it.

The West Routt Housing Inc. complex had not been renovated since it was built in the early 1970s, but now one of the buildings is getting a much-needed, complete makeover. The building's four tenants have been temporarily relocated to make room for the major construction work.

Of the three buildings in the senior housing complex, a four-room, one-story building is being gutted and rebuilt from the inside out.

"This is a major undertaking," said Lucy Rickman, WRHI administrator and director of The Haven Senior Assisted Living Center. "We're very excited about it."

Improvements include installing a new roof, extending a dormer along the front doors, new floors and paint. The bathrooms are getting new fixtures, the floors are getting new carpet and the entrances are getting new doors.

Several of the old fixtures in the bathrooms had leaks or barely worked at all, said Ryan Radway, of Steamboat Springs-based Letson Enterprises, the construction company doing the remodeling work.

WRHI received a $193,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office for the improvements.

Some of those funds are being used to put a new roof on one of the two-story buildings and to pay for a surveyor and architect to make plans for the renovations.

The first architectural rendering with all the desired improvements called for a $400,000 project, but Rickman said WRHI did not have the funds to do that much. Replacing windows and siding will be put on hold.

"Those are things we will have to do next year, if and when we get more money," Rickman said.

WRHI has requested an additional $220,000 loan from USDA Rural Development. Mary Summerfield, USDA Rural Development loan specialist for multi-family housing, said she probably would know by the end of next week whether WRHI would receive the funding.

If WRHI receives the money, it will take at least another two months to complete application packets and get attorney approval to finalize the loan.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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