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Scottdale senior housing project nears completion

Rachel Basinger | For The Independent-Observer
Construction on the Homes Build Hope senior housing project along South Broadway in Scottdale that was begun at the beginning of this year is well on its way to completion.

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By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

Construction on the Homes Build Hope senior housing project along South Broadway in Scottdale that was begun at the beginning of this year is well on its way to completion.

Kristen Zaccaria, executive director for Homes Build Hope, said overall the project has been pushed back about two weeks because of the heavy storms that came through the area in May.

“We are still waiting for permanent power and a pole to be put in by West Penn Power, but even with all of this, we're still anticipating completion of the building by Sept. 5,” she said.

The general contractor is Continental Building Systems of Harrisburg.

“We have started processing our waiting list, which has about 115 names on it and we're still looking at occupancy to take place by Sept. 15,” Zaccaria said. “We're getting everything on our end ready to go. We want to have all the bugs and kinks worked out so that our tenants will have a smooth transition moving in.”

People 55 and older who fall in the low-to-moderate income range are eligible to live in the facility.

In February 2010, Scottdale's zoning hearing board granted the variance necessary for the senior housing project to proceed.

Project architect Scott Moore said architectural cues for the building were taken from some of the homes farther out on Broadway. He said one goal was to make the historic Loucks House more visible from Broadway, as well as to provide a turning lane behind the new units for truck-delivery access to Brilhart Hardware.

Once construction is finished, 32 units will be available.

Zaccaria said this is the agency's first venture into senior housing.

“We know most seniors are on a fixed income and younger people have more of an opportunity to increase their income than seniors do,” she said. “We hope to provide those seniors with a nice and safe place to live where they feel comfortable at an affordable rent.”

At some point, the group hopes to offer supportive services, such as computer courses and blood-pressure screenings.

Zaccaria said the project would not have been possible without the support of the Westmoreland County Commissioners and the financial help of $2.5 million from the Westmoreland County Office of Planning and Development.

“The county did make a significant contribution and without them and our investors (PNC Bank), the project couldn't have gotten off the ground,” she said.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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