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Armory repairs to cost $300,000

February 13, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The Hagerstown Armory Youth Consortium, which wants to use the former National Guard armory, would need to raise $300,000 to make repairs to the building.

Hagerstown City Council members want to see the consortium's plan and schedule for bringing the old armory up to code before they decide whether to sublease the building to the nonprofit group, said City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

The city would lease the North Potomac Street building from the state.

A notice of the code violations will be sent to the state, said City Building Inspector Mike Heyser.

Required repairs include the addition of emergency exit lighting and fire exits and upgrading of the fire alarm system. The building also needs a new roof and handicap accessibility, officials said.

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Consortium members, such as Hagerstown Soccer Club and Has Beens Boxing Club, have been using the building and renting space out to other groups for $5 an hour, said Gerald Spessard, with the consortium.

That rate may be increased, he said.

City officials said they will investigate whether church services can continue to be held in the building since it is owned by the state.

Consortium officials discovered An House of Prayer was holding church services in the building when an inspection was done about a week ago, Spessard said. Board members also need to discuss whether those services may continue, he said.

A special exception may be needed by the Board of Zoning Appeals in order for the church services to continue, said Deborah Everhart, city zoning administrator.

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