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News Release

For immediate release

For more information contact:
Rhonda Rosenberg, Director of Communications
King County Housing Authority
(206) 574-1185

King County Housing Authority Starts $2M Stimulus Project

Funds will upgrade senior housing complex, boost local economy

Dec. 15, 2009

Federal stimulus dollars are paying for improvements at Southridge House, an 80-unit public housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities, in Federal Way. Contractors are mobilizing at the site this week.

“This initiative will provide good paying jobs for the community, improve the appearance and extend the life span of this public asset, reduce energy costs, and convert several existing apartment units into homes that are fully accessible to persons with disabilities,” said King County Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Norman.

Funding for the $2 million project was awarded to the King County Housing Authority in April as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money is part of a $4 billion boost for housing authorities nationwide to preserve and enhance the country’s public housing stock.

Due to the porosity of the building’s brick exterior, moisture has been migrating through the masonry to the structural rebar, causing corrosion. To preserve the structural integrity of the building, which was built in 1970, the exterior will be sealed with a weather-resistant barrier and wrapped with a layer of rigid insulation, which will be covered with Hardie Board™ fiber cement siding as part of a rain screen system to prevent any further penetration of moisture. The installation of new energy-efficient windows will complete the improvements to the building envelope. In addition to preserving an important affordable housing resource, the new exterior façade will look more modern, with colorful variegated surfaces instead of the current monochromatic, utilitarian brick face it will overlay. Further building improvements will include upgrading Comcast cabling within the building and the conversion of several units to full UFAS (Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards) compliance with modifications to bathrooms, kitchens and living areas. Common area accessibility improvements have previously been completed.

“We are committed to providing well-run housing that works well with the surrounding neighborhood and to maintaining the highest possible standards of safety and well-being for our community’s seniors and persons with disabilities,” said Norman. “This initiative will reduce operating costs and make Southridge House a more comfortable and affordable place to live for our most vulnerable citizens. Additionally, the project will offer a boost to the local economy as workers procure goods and services in the community over the next year.” 

The general contractor for the building envelope project is W.G. Clark Construction Co. Architectural services have been provided by ARC Architects. The electrical contractor is Kelly Electric and the siding contractor is L.A. Olsen Construction, Inc. Centennial Moisture Control, Inc. will install the weather resistant barrier, and Picture Perfect Painting is the painting contractor. More than 40 workers from a variety of trades will be employed on the project. Work is expected to be completed by December 2010.  RAFN Company will oversee the ADA unit conversions, which are set to begin in July. SKHS Architects will provide the services to design them.

KCHA administers a range of quality affordable rental and homeownership programs in the Puget Sound region. The Authority serves more than 17,000 families and elderly and disabled households on a daily basis.

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