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Buffalo Apartments ahead of schedule

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19 apartments for seniors may be available by February

By Brent Schanding

Nineteen affordable apartments for seniors are expected to debut as early as Feb. 15, 2011, according to Johan Graham, director of development for AU Associates, Inc., the Lexington-based group working to convert a former Buffalo elementary school into a residential housing complex.

     Renovations on the new Buffalo School Apartments, at 50 School Loop off College Street, are ahead of schedule, Graham said. Tours could be offered to potential tenants later this month.

    The structure’s roof has been fully replaced and cabinets and lighting fixtures are being installed this week, according to reports from contractors.

     “People should have a good idea of what the apartments will look like,” Graham said. “A lot of the finishes aren’t in yet, but you can tell where they’re going to go.”

     Once completed, natural lighting will flood most of the units since over-sized windows of the 1936 historic schoolhouse were restored in the conversion.

     “In the morning, it’s spectacular,” said Lonny Whitlock, a subcontractor with Georgia-based, BMP Ventures, who’s been working on the project since June.

     Much of the original hardwood flooring has been exposed and will be polished. Ceilings will extend to post-decade heights — as tall as 13 feet in many units. Crews were careful to preserve molding and some of the finer details of the old school, Graham said.

     “I think people will be surprised with what they see,” he said, adding that semblances of the old school will still be visible.

     Hallway bulletin boards from the old school have been preserved and a plaque that once commemorated the school will be displayed in the building alongside an original watercolor painting.

     Buffalo School Apartments is a more than $2.8 million projected, funded mostly with tax credits. AU Associates purchased the steel-frame schoolhouse — listed by the National Register of Historic Places — for $60,000 from the LaRue County School District.    

   Eleven one-bedroom apartments are expected to rent for $350 a month; eight two-bedroom units could rent for $450 a month.

   Each apartment will be equipped with a washer and dryer and will be handicap accessible for seniors with special needs.

    The units are approved for residents 55 and older who meet financial guidelines. Applicants will be screened and units will be inspected several times a year.

     To schedule a viewing call 859-233-2009.