A big project is in the works that will renovate the interior of all 80 units of Hembree Homes, the Guntersville Housing Authority’s development on Wyeth Drive near Highway 227.

A legal notice is running elsewhere in this paper seeking bids on the project. The bids will be opened on July 24, Housing Authority director Wayne Bryant said. They will be reviewed and then the Housing Authority board of directors will vote to proceed if it comes in within their budget.

The Housing Authority has been planning this renovation for some time.

“We get grant money every year from HUD for capital fund purposes,” Bryant said. “We are actually combining 2 years’ worth of money to do this project. This is 2018 and 2019 money.”

Like the school systems, the Housing Authority does a 5-year capital plan every year. This one has been on their radar for awhile.

“Hembree Homes was built in 1960,” Bryant said. “It has been upgraded a few times but it’s time again.”

The work will include:

  • Totally renovating the bathrooms, taking out the old plasterboard walls and going back with new aluminum stud walls, with new tub surrounds. “It will be a totally new bathroom,” Bryant said.
  • Removing the old dark-colored paneling from the living rooms and halls. “It’s a dreary brown,” Bryant said. “We will got back with sheetrock and paint and brighten it up some.”
  • Installing new floor tiles
  • “The kitchen cabinets are real wood, not the press board that so many cabinets today are made of,” Bryant said. “We will save them but freshen them up with new paint and new countertops The kitchen sinks will be new.”
  • Installing new light fixtures.
  • Installing new smoke alarms and CO2 monitors.

“It’s a big job,” Bryant said. He hopes they can start 4 to 6 weeks after the contract is awarded.

There are 6 or 7 units that are currently not occupied in Hembree Homes. Residents whose homes are being renovated will relocate to those units while work takes place in their units.

“They will have the option of relocating to that unit or going back home,” Bryant said. “I expect most of them will want to go back home.”

Emmett Smith of Guntersville is the architect on the project. The complete renovation is expected to take 16 months.

The Guntersville Housing Authority Board is made up chairman Buddy Bunch, Tim Bice, Dixie Deed, Tony Cornelius and Ray Cornelius.

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