Residents of Butler's Lafayette Apartments make themselves at home anew
By Bill Vidonic
Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Thanks to more than $3 million in renovations at the Historic Lafayette Apartments in Downtown Butler, resident Terrence Doller said he's much more comfortable.
“I have better air now,” Doller, 56, a resident since 2006 said. “They outdid themselves. It's really nice what they did here.”
County officials are planning a reopening celebration, possibly by the end of the month, to unveil the renovations at the Lafayette. The building, which housed a bank, sits next to the county courthouse at Diamond and Main streets. The building is home to lower-income residents 55 and older and is nearly full with its 52 one-bedroom apartments, six efficiencies and one two-bedroom unit.
“Now they have a wonderful building. It all works very, very well,” Perry O'Malley said, executive director of the Butler County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, said.
O'Malley said when the building was retrofitted about 18 years ago to provide housing, developers didn't upgrade the infrastructure, including heating and cooling systems. Also, residents could not open windows, and the decades-old systems meant that the heat was turned on in October and cooling systems in April and residents had little control.
Now, double-pane exterior windows open, O'Malley said, allowing most residents to get fresh air. Those windows also kept the historic appearance of the structure. Each apartment has its own small heating/cooling unit that residents can control year-round.
Electrical systems and plumbing were upgraded and the main lobby renovated. A large bank vault houses a library and other reminders of the financial past of the building, including teller windows, remain.
Residents said they were happy with renovations in the basement, including a new and larger community room, an expanded kitchen, new laundry facilities and more storage space.
“I like to come down here and work and watch TV, and play bingo” said resident Joan Updegrass, 66. “I really like it.”
Low-income housing tax credits provided about $2 million in financing for the project, O'Malley said. Another $1 million came through the federal stimulus and a $350,000 grant from the Butler County commissioners. The authority also refinanced $2 million of debt.
Housing authority officials said that with the upgrades, they expect to cut electric and gas costs by 30 percent, saving about $20,000 a year.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Population of most Butler County communities slowly gets older
- Homebrewers pour their hearts into Butler competition
- Several area colleges working together to educate at Cranberry campus
- Glass-blowing open house in Hilliards to be offered next weekend
- Tax hike could hit Seven Fields business owners
- 4-H members from Butler County excel at state show
- Lighting of menorah in Cranberry meant to promote unity
- Butler County holiday happenings
- Chamber program aims to spread word about Butler County’s offerings
- Cranberry to install bike racks
- BC3 supports veterans with lounge