Apartments destroyed by EF3 tornado set to rebuild in West Liberty

By: Brittany Nauta Email
By: Brittany Nauta Email

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WYMT) The EF-3 tornado that ripped through West Liberty nearly devastated the community. More than one year later, people in the town are still taking steps toward rebuilding.

"Once the tornado hit, we went to work immediately to try to find a way to preserve these units. Obviously it's going to have to be rebuilt," said Rick McQuady, CEO of Kentucky Housing Corporation.

Organizers gathered Monday to break ground for a new apartment complex to replace one that was destroyed in the twister.

"It's a bitter sweet moment. We've closed one chapter and this community is opening another chapter by offering housing, much needed housing in our town," said Coleen Kegley Fredrick.

Fredrick’s family built the original complex, called Liberty Heights in 1973 until they sold it to a property management company called Winterwood in 2005. The new apartment complex will be built on the site of the former one and is named after Fredrick’s family.

"It brings people back home and that's what's important. Bringing people home," said Fredrick.

The Kentucky Housing Corporation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development worked to fund the project and create affordable homes for tenants.

"We were able to coordinate all of that, work together with all of these partners together to make what we hope in a year will be a great project again and preserve these units for this community," said McQuady.

The townhome style complex will have seven one-story buildings, four of which will be accommodate people with disabilities, a community building and a playground.

“It will be phenomenal,” said Carol Worsham, president of Winterwood. “The residents that were here and are coming back are going to be really in for a treat.”

Organizers hope the new complex will be finished in late 2014.

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