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Grand reopening for Lawrence Manor

Senior, disabled apartments underwent $6.6M rehabilitation

SOUTH POINT — A ribbon cutting took place on Thursday for the grand reopening of an apartment complex for the elderly and disabled.

Lawrence Manor Apartments were constructed in 1980, with a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom homes.

They recently underwent a major rahabilitation, a $6.6 million project using 9 percent federal Low Income Housing tax credits.

According to Tim Swiney, of Wallick Communities, who owns the complex, the units are now more accessible, have new siding and each received new kitchen counters.

“We’ve added a gazebo and walking paths,” he said. “And we’ve replaced the exterior lights.”

He said there would also be a stronger focus on security, with video surveillance offered 24 hours a day.

The residents were temporarily relocated while the apartments were renovated, coordinated by Rita Ferguson of Wallick’s staff.

One of the seniors present at the ribbon cutting was Juanita Clark, who turned 91 this week and has lived in the complex since it’s opening. A tour was offered of her unit to the assembled officials.

On hand was U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, who was thanked for helping to keep the tax credit in place.

“We had to fight to keep the credit where it’s at,” Johnson said, stating that he is focused on senior issues.

He recalled the first call he received from his mother after he was elected.

“She told me ‘What are you going to do to not mess up our stuff?’” Johnson said. “I’m a big supporter of seniors having choices and quality living conditions and you better believe I stand behind that.”

Ralph Kline, of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO, which provides services to seniors, praised the renovation.

“I appreciate our partnership with Wallick,” he said. “I love when private investors come in and provide great facilities.”

Klein said his staff visits the units weekly and encouraged residents to let them know what is needed.

Project partners for the renovation included the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Ohio Corporation for Public Housing, Riverhills Bank, Lancaster Pollard, USDA — Rural Development, the CAO and Hooker DeJong, Inc.