Duplexes to be built for those with disabilities

A local project to raise 12 new apartments tailored for the elderly and those with disabilities begins with a groundbreaking ceremony Monday.

Don Hartman, director of development for the Grand Junction Housing Authority, said total costs have been pegged around $1 million for construction of six duplexes at Walnut Park Apartments, 2236 N. 17th St., the first additions to the 78-unit complex since it opened in 1979.

The new units, which officials hope to open by September or October, will conform to standards established in the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hartman said. The federal law didn’t exist when the original complex was built, Hartman said.

The expansion has been in the works two years, he said, adding, “The existing units are fully occupied, and that’s been the case for a while now.”

The new apartments will have roll-in showers, lower counter heights, extra-wide doors and an open floor plan for greater mobility for wheelchairs.

The project, with work to be completed by Shaw Construction, will be paid for by a $171,000 contribution from the city and a $400,000 federal community block grant. The difference will be covered by regular fees paid by the current tenants at Walnut Park, he said.

The Housing Authority is looking for funding sources for a second phase of expansion, which would add another eight apartments.


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