- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) - Demolition has begun on two buildings to clear the way for new apartments for teachers in a blighted southern West Virginia community.

Demolition on the Best Furniture and Katzen buildings in downtown Welch started with a ceremony Thursday.

The space will house the Renaissance Village apartment complex primarily be intended for teachers. It’s expected to be finished in several months.

The apartments are a key component of the Reconnecting McDowell partnership. That project led by the American Federation of Teachers and its many partners aims to improve opportunities in impoverished McDowell County.

The 30-unit Renaissance Village will include rental apartments, a common area for residents and street-level retail establishments, like a coffee shop.

A news release says the project will be the first multistory construction in Welch in 50 years.

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