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Boscobel Housing Authority proceeds with $1M Briarwood renovation
Briarwood renovation begins
RON RITCHIE, Project superintendent of Midwest Builders, stands in front of some of the new windows being installed at Briarwood Apartments with Boscobel Housing Authority maintenance director Tom Waltz. The $1 million renovation project should be done in a year.

BOSCOBEL - Despite delays caused by governmental red tape and the coronavirus pandemic, the $1 million renovation of the Boscobel Housing Authority’s (BHA) Briarwood Apartment complex is now underway.

“We had it all set before the pandemic hit,” said BHA Executive Director Kelly Trumm. “The plan was to start in April and finish by December, but due to social distancing we’ve only been bringing in a few contractors at a time. Construction can still move forward during the pandemic. All contractors have to sign in, wear masks, and sanitize regularly.”

Work on the 20-unit apartment complex began on May 4, with Midwest Builders of Fennimore as the general contractor. The project is made possible through a $1 million loan through USDA Rural Development.

“We applied for the program two and a half years ago,” said Trumm. “It took over a year just to get all the applications in. Then we had delays with the state and had to get the bids out.”

The project is massive in scale, with every apartment basically being rebuilt with new drywall, paint, flooring, doors and windows, new kitchen cabinets, showers and toilets. The complex will be entirely handicap accessible with a new, monitored fire alarm system, central air, a patio area with gazebo, and expanded “great room” commons area. The parking lot at 602 W. Bluff St. will be reconfigured and re-paved.

“We’re hoping to have the project completed in less than a year, from start to finish, that’s what our goal is,” Trumm said.

The good news for residents is that they won’t have to relocate outside of the building during construction. Barriers have been installed between living and construction spaces. Due to several vacancies that will not be re-filled during construction, residents will be moved to empty apartments while theirs is being worked on.

“We currently have four vacancies, so we will do 3-4 units at a time,” Trumm said. “Hopefully, we won’t have to displace anyone.”

“It’s going to be nice,” added BHA Maintenance Director Tom Waltz. “When it’s done it will definitely be the premier assisted living facility in Boscobel.”