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Home » Seneca County » Old school, new purpose: Inside former Waterloo middle school where housing development will take shape (video)

Old school, new purpose: Inside former Waterloo middle school where housing development will take shape (video)

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

A vacant historic school on Main Street in Waterloo is being transformed into an apartment complex for seniors.

Jack O’Connor is about to walk inside the school he attended when he just a little boy.

“I’m excited because I want to see the rooms where I used to do classes,” O’Connor said.

35-apartment complex for seniors being built in vacant Main Street school (video)

O’Connor, who is the Mayor of Waterloo, took us on a trip down memory lane.

“The room here on my right as I look at it, twas where first grade was,” O’Connor said. “Probably not as big as they made it, but that’s where I went to first grade.”

O’Connor is celebrating because a vacant historic building he once knew is getting some much needed T-L-C and a new purpose.

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Lakewood Development charges project

David Kimmel hosted a press conference outside the school. Kimmel works for Lakewood Development. He is the site manager for this affordable housing development project, he says it comes with close to a  $14-million dollar price tag.  

The existing Main Street structure is being transformed into a 35-apartment complex for seniors, to be called LaFayette Apartments. Kimmel says he helped select the location and put together financing.

“It’s utilizing funds from New York State Homes and Community Renewal but also utilizing historic tax credits,” Kimmel said. “So as part of this project, the school has been listed as a historic landmark with the national register which allows us to access the historic tax credits in return for keeping some historic features present.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

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State and local officials attend groundbreaking

New York State Senator Pam Helming was also there. Helming says she worked with the Office of Housing and Community Development to help make this happen.

“It provides critically-needed housing safe, secure, clean, housing for our seniors,” Senator Helming said. “It also provides job opportunities for our community.  It has a significant economic benefit and it’s just tremendous all around.”

Tremendous also for Mayor O’Connor, who says he couldn’t think of a better way to update the space that means so much to him.

“It’s enlightening that I can remember a lot of things that young,” O’Connor said. “But to see the construction and what you’re making it into is very rewarding.”