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Housing for disabled vets progresses

County commits to sell former school following foreclosure

The former Draper school building, seen here in June 2011, is now closer to becoming repurposed for housing for disabled veterans.

The former Draper school building, seen here in June 2011, is now closer to becoming repurposed for housing for disabled veterans. Photo by John Purcell.

— “We are just waiting for everything to get finalized,” Reiter said on Wednesday, Jan. 11. “We have a few more things that have to be done, but it is progressing and it is progressing at a nice pace … I’m happy.”

Reiter said his previous comment to the media regarding the DAV backing out the proposal seemed to help move the process along. He added the DAV was concerned about continuing deterioration of the building, which has already seen substantial damage due to weather and people entering the vacant building.

“We got the police watching the building and all the windows are closed … we are just making sure the building doesn’t deteriorate,” Reiter said.

He said there is a great deal of interest in the success of the project.

“We got people banging on our doors wanting this to be the first one,” Reiter said.

The state DAV is planning to open up similar housing facilities for roughly 10 Veteran Hospitals statewide. The Rotterdam facility would serve as the model for future apartment complexes.

Besides serving as a model site, County Legislator Holly Vellano, C-Rotterdam, said the facility would improve the blighted area.

“It is going to be a great example of what we can do for our disabled veterans,” Vellano said. “For Rotterdam, it is going to rebuild that whole area and I think it is going to (bring) wonderful people utilizing restaurants and shops … it is a win-win for everybody.”

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