Hammers, saws herald new Sterling senior housing

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The busy sounds of construction are once again filling the air near the Sterling Senior Center as work gets under way for another 10-unit senior housing facility.

A ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday officially marked the start of the independent living apartment building that will have 10 two-bedroom units. Seven of the apartments also will have two bathrooms.

According to Judy Warren, executive director of the senior center, the architect’s concept behind the design was to allow the capability for a full-time caregiver to reside with the senior if needed. Each unit will have its own kitchen and individual laundry facilities.

All the apartments have lowered countertops and cupboards to allow easier access for people in wheelchairs, and all have roll-in showers, according to Warren.

Expected to rent for more than $800 per month, the units are slated for occupancy sometime in late autumn, Warren said.

The Sterling center’s first 10-unit apartment building, situated just east of the senior center, opened in 2004. The building under construction now is to the south of that apartment building and the senior center.

“We have a pretty good waiting list (already), but anyone is welcome to apply,” Warren said Monday.

The total cost of the project is $1,950,483. Warren said $1,250,488 came through a Denali Commission and Alaska Housing Finance Corp. senior housing program grants.

The Sterling seniors’ 10-year plan calls for adding two 10-unit townhouse buildings near the center as well as a senior fitness center and fitness swimming pool to be built northwest of the senior center.

Construction on the townhouses is expected to begin within two years, Warren said.

“The buildings provide greater opportunities for affordable living for seniors,” she said.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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