Orphanage to receive renovations

MARQUETTE — It’s known as the first orphanage in the history of the Upper Peninsula.

At nearly 100 years old, the Holy Family Orphanage in Down Marquette has been an eyesore now for a number of years.

But thanks to a collaboration between Community Action–Alger Marquette and Home Renewal Systems LLC, the former orphanage is set to get one big makeover. The two sides just closed the deal to renovate the old orphanage two days ago.

The property, located on the 600 block of Altamont Street, has been vacant for years.

According to CAAM Executive Director Amy Lerlie, there’s a lot of work that has to be done to the building, like removing lead paint and asbestos, before construction crews can begin the fourteen–month long project of turning it into an apartment complex.

“We have the privilege of saving an historic property in the City of Marquette,” said Lerlie. “I grew up in Marquette and am very familiar with the property and have been saddened over the years to see the condition of the property. We want to preserve that structure and bring it back to its original appearance. I think people are starting to understand that it’s really going to happen.”

When the project is complete, the complex will provide housing for 56 families. An official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place in August.