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Park Place public apartments in Merrill reopen after renovationsSubmitted: 10/24/2019
Story By Ben Bokun

Park Place public apartments in Merrill reopen after renovations
MERRILL - There might not be a lot of people who enjoy living in tiny rooms.

And It's a lot worse when they have safety concerns.

That's exactly why the Park Place public apartments in Merrill underwent extreme renovations. A ribbon-cutting ceremony today helped celebrate completion of the project.

The fifty-year-old complex reopened after five years of remodeling and planning by the Merrill Area Housing Authority.

"[It was] built in 1970. [There were] really small apartments with no handicap and ADA codes that today obviously apply and didn't in the early seventies," said Paul Russell, the Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director.


Future and current tenants attended today's grand reopening. Park Place has already received nearly 200 applications from interested renters.

"When you do a huge, in this case, 16-million-dollar project with 102 affordable housing units at stake at three different buildings, that's a huge event for a small community," said Russell.

Those who are interested in learning more about the improved Park Place apartments can visit the Merrill Housing Authority website.

The project was completed with the help of funding from government tax credits.

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THREE LAKES -

Students and parents have been patiently waiting to hear from local school districts on what classes will look like in the fall.

Last night, the Three Lakes School District flipped the script, they instead took questions from community members to hear their concerns.

Educating is a stressful job, now imagine trying to plan a school year around a global pandemic, and combine that with answering questions from nearly 130 parents in one night. That's a day in Teri Maney's shoes.

"It was truly a listening session...this was laying the groundwork so people have an idea of what we're planning and thinking about at the district," Maney said. 

 Those plans primarily aim to have students back in the classroom full time.

 "That would be our goal to return on site five days a week," she added. 

But with COVID-19 showing no signs of letting up in the U.S. backup plans will be in place for any changes.

"Our next level would be a blended approach," Maney added, "We're keeping our primary focus on elementary students being on site and that might mean for our junior high and high school, a little shift of scheduling."

Three Lakes would then approach any positive cases in the district through guidelines from Oneida and Vilas county health officials.

"We also have a plan for if we would have a positive identification in a grade level, or a teacher, or if there's a teacher. We would not want to shut down the entire district," Maney explained. 

But if things don't go as planned, Three Lakes will be fully prepared for online classes.

"The last level, level four, that would be fully remote instruction."

The school board will vote on Monday night at 6:30 whether or not they will continue with the district's plan. 


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