Demolition began this week on six condemned cottages at the veterans home in Perkins Township. All six structures should be down by April 1.
State taxpayers are fronting about $31,000 to demolish the first cottage, but the exact cost of the entire project is still unknown.
State officials assured residents of this much: It’ll be much cheaper to demolish the facilities than to rehabilitate them.
“The current estimate to bring the cottages up to the standard where residents can live in them exceeds $1 million per cottage,” veterans home spokesman Mike McKinney said.
Hundreds of veterans lived in the cottages from the late 1800s to 1992.
Since then, the cottages have become uninhabitable, forcing administrators to lock the doors and bar anyone from entering. “Much internal and some external decay has taken place since then, rendering them in unusable condition,” McKinney said.
“We have attempted to repurpose them by partnering with other private and public organizations, but the cost of renovation is prohibitive.”
Veterans home administrators plan to transform the cleared area into green space for veterans home residents and guests.
“These cottages were going to eventually come down if we didn’t do something with them,” said Naomi Twine, the home’s executive assistant to the superintendent.
Twine made the response after touring one of the structures on a recent weekday.
“It’s a safety factor,” Twine said.
The Mack Memorial Building, where the Ohio Veterans Home Military Museum is located, will not come down.