ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - The man who wanted to use a former local hospital for a veterans' project says he'll move ahead without it.
Dennis Butts had offered to buy the old Bon Secours Hospital building for $2.5 million for his U.S. Veterans Education Institute.
In January, Butts announced plans to hire hundreds of people and train thousands of veterans in the Altoona area. The Bon Secours building would have been a dormitory and education center, for USVEI. Butts put down a $50,000 depost on the building, and had his option extended twice.
He says an unclear title and mold in the building kept him from getting the financing. This week, he offered to come up with the money by May 12, but UPMC Altoona put the building back on the market.
Butts says, "it doesn't affect us whatsoever. The city of Altoona loses. They're not going to get the redevelopment and revitalization. We're movnig right ahead."
Butts says he'll sue UPMC Altoona to get his deposit back, but the hospital says the contract specified that the property was being sold "as is" and that the deposit was non-refundable.
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