February 24, 2020
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Housing Authority Pleased with Kirtland Commons Expansion

Published April 24, 2018

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Winter weather and vacation schedules delayed the official ribbon cutting of the new addition to Kirtland Commons, but residents who moved in at the beginning of the year are now enjoying the 18 new energy-efficient apartments and new elevator, along with other updates such as windows and heating.

The certificate of occupancy was received on Dec. 23, 2017 and tenants began moving in on Jan. 1 of this year, with the last moving in March 1. Now, a few months later, residents seem happy with the results, says Kirtland Commons Director Joann Hourigan, who is also director of the Deep River Housing Authority. Kirtland Commons is an affordable housing project overseen by the Deep River Housing Authority.

There were several delays and many setbacks to the renovation of the affordable senior housing facility.. The first challenge arose after the passing of Dick Smith in March 2016. Smith’s personal involvement in seemingly every aspect of town business meant many ongoing projects needed new leadership.

Smith was “a good friend and mentor who would have been a huge help on this project,” said Director Joann Hourigan.

Hourigan praised project manager Kyma Ganzer and superintendent Al Doyon with keeping the project running from day to day, no matter what obstacles were thrown in their way. Grant consultant Dale Kroop assisted throughout the process, she said, also crediting Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, building inspector Richard Leighton, and Fire Marshal Adam Kerop for providing ongoing support for the project.

“Brian Cleveland of Buchanan Architects stepped in and tackled every challenge head on,” she added. “LaRosa Building Group was phenomenal. Their expertise, patience, and generosity was absolutely amazing.”

The project was completed eight months behind schedule and came in at $4.7 million, $500,000 over the original budget.

While the process led the Housing Authority members to claim many times over the past two years that it would never do a renovation again, the results changed their minds.

We were “so pleased with the expansion that we are looking at our next project already” said Hourigan.

Before they can kick of another project, however, they have to wrap this one up with a ribbon cutting ceremony, scheduled for Monday, April 30 at 10 a.m.

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