As the dignitaries from all over Northwest Arkansas gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, apartment residents could be seen proudly sitting on their front porches, as all the housing units are already full and a waiting list has been started.
The West View Apartments project on Academy Road across from Daylight Donuts is centrally located for the complex, designed for developmentally disabled and older people with low incomes.
The facility is owned by the Carroll County Learning Center and will be managed by the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas. The project was funded through the Arkansas Development Finance Agency, with a lot of help from Community First Bank, Jason Tennant of Berryville First National Bank, and a host of other community leaders and other institutions.
Learning Center Executive Director Karla Gray said, "The reality of these beautiful apartments would not be possible without the support and dedication of the Carroll County Learning Center Board of Directors; Suzette Jackson, board president, with Farmers Insurance in Green Forest; Julie Lynch, vice president; Joan Smith of Berryville; Dean Soder, retired physical therapist of Holiday Island; Dr. Jess Green of Eureka Springs, a retired physician; Patty Warren of Berryville, owner of Sugg Oil; Catrina Chester, owner of Nationwide Insurance in Berryville; and former Quorum Court Justice of the Peace Ulys K. Smith These leaders in our community should be recognized and commended for their insight and commitment to growth for persons with disabilities in our area."
Gray continued, "This project was spawned through the efforts of myself, Robert Hill with Supplemental Resources Inc. of Harrison (the primary developer) and Gloria Brewer, administrative assistant at the Carroll County Learning Center."
Jerry Mitchell, director of the Area Agency on Aging, said "This is a wonderful thing for the city of Berryville. Every time we've gone to Mayor McKinney for help, he has been there for us. We've been so fortunate to have the mayor on our team because he and the city have always been very supportive of us."
Developer Jack Hill said, "The people at the learning Center have done an excellent job, allowing us to build these units for the hearing impaired and other handicapped people, and I guess it shows, because they already have a waiting list."
Gray said, "Housing was unaffordable and very scarce for persons of limited income and those needing live-in caregivers. The project became a reality when Jason Tennant, vice president of First National Bank of Berryville assisted the center with purchasing the land for the apartments. Our grant application was funded through the Arkansas Development Authority and secured with Community First Bank of Harrison and Berryville working closely with bank attorney, Dan Bowers and Bank President Deretha Walker."
She praised Tim Scott of Champion Builders architect Greg Barbourek, among others.
"During construction, I met with Executive Director Jerry Mitchell of the Area on Aging of Northwest Arkansas to assist our project based on their expertise in property management," Gray said.
She said the entire staff of the Area on Aging was instrumental in getting the job done.
"We hope you enjoy you new home," she said to the residents gathered to watch the ceremony.
The complex includes one- and two-bedroom apartments that are completely handicap accessible. Amenities include central heat and air, ranges, frost-free refrigerator, disposal, dish washers, ceiling fans and laundry hook-ups. The units have smoke alarms, and one unit for then hearing impaired has lights that blink when the doorbell is rung. Rental assistance is available for those who qualify For more information, call (870) 423-3000.