Neighbors joined state and local officials Monday in welcoming a housing complex in Cheektowaga for the visually impaired.
A ceremony was held at the former Most Holy Redeemer School at Alpine Place and Genesee Street. Next fall, tenants will start moving into one- and two-bedroom apartments that once were classrooms holding dozens of schoolchildren.
The Elizabeth Pierce M.D. Olmsted Center for the Visually Impaired is undertaking its fifth housing complex to provide safe, affordable housing for individuals with disabilities, particularly visual impairments. "We want to keep people in the community and keep them as independent as possible," said Dr. Ronald S. Maier, president of the Olmsted Center for the Visually Impaired.
The two-story building will be converted into 24 apartments. The $4 million project is expected to take about a year to complete. "It's putting an investment into an area that needs it," Cheektowaga Supervisor Dennis H. Gabryszak said.
The town has been focusing on revitalizing neighborhoods, particularly those on its west side.
"It's one of the first things you would see coming down Genesee from Buffalo into Cheektowaga,"Gabryszak said, adding the project will help the entire neighborhood.
The Olmsted Center for the Visually Impaired, a private, not-for-profit agency, serves more than 10,000 people each year in the eight Western New York counties.