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Published: Tuesday, 3/22/2005

Wood Lane is ready to begin work on housing

BOWLING GREEN - Nearly three years after drawing up the plans for two group homes for older adults with mental retardation, Wood Lane Residential Services is ready to start moving dirt.

Yesterday, Wood Lane Residential Services announced it has received grants totaling $764,000 to build the homes and would break ground April 5.

The project represents the first time Wood Lane has received funding for such a project through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Greg Bair, chief executive officer of Wood Lane Residential.

"It's a new source of funding for us," Mr. Bair said, explaining the lapse since HUD informed Wood Lane in October, 2002, that it would receive the grants. HUD also gave Wood Lane a $67,500 five-year rental subsidy to help cover operating expenses at the new group homes.

The one-story, 2,908-square-foot homes will be built to suit the physical and medical needs of the clients over age 55 who will live there, including wider hallways, adapted bathrooms, and other handicapped-accessible features.

Each client will have his or her own bedroom.

"We wanted to have smaller environments with the ability to take care of the potential physical and medical needs of folks," Mr. Bair said.

While a staff person will be at the house around-the-clock, he anticipates having drop-in nursing care.

The houses will be built on three residential lots on Fairview Avenue across from Bowling Green High School's track and tennis courts.

Wood Lane purchased the lots from the Wood County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, which has its maintenance building and other facilities on Fairview.

Eight clients have rooms reserved at the new houses, which will free up spots in other group homes in the county.

The houses are expected to be ready for occupancy by Thanksgiving, Mr. Bair said.

"It's a good thing for the whole system because it will create openings in various homes for people on our waiting list now - people of a variety of ages and with various level of needs," he said.

Wood Lane Residential now assists about 150 individuals in 24 group homes and a dozen apartments throughout the county.

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