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Hagerstown moves forward with Roslyn building renovation

June 11, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

After months of second thoughts, Hagerstown officials decided Tuesday to move forward on two rehabilitation projects.

Renovation work is expected to begin this month on the Roslyn building next to City Hall and in September on a scaled-back expansion of the City Hall lobby, city officials said Wednesday.

The $836,000 contract approved Tuesday night includes renovation of the Roslyn's first floor and construction of an elevator and stair tower within the building, said George Andreve, manager of the Department of Community Development. It doesn't include the elevator.

Council members decided against approving the actual connection between the Roslyn building and City Hall, which would include a grander expansion of the lobby.

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City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Wednesday the lobby and Roslyn renovation projects won't preclude connecting the buildings later.

During Tuesday's work session, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said if the city wants private property owners to improve their vacant and deteriorating buildings, the city must do the same with its vacant buildings.

Before the vote, Councilman William M. Breichner said the Roslyn building eventually will be a nice addition to City Hall, he said.

Zimmerman said he expects the Home Store on the first floor to open this fall. The store will be used to promote homeownership programs and educate people about financial assistance programs available to homebuyers.

Most council members agreed with City Finance Director Al Martin's recommendation to scale back the City Hall lobby expansion because of the city's tight financial situation.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure said he preferred to return the lobby to its original grandeur, giving the city a place to highlight citizens' accomplishments.

City officials have been discussing lobby renovations for at least five years.

Antietam Construction Inc., of Hagerstown, the low bidder, was given the contract for the Roslyn work by a 4-0 vote. In addition to the $836,000 contract, there is a $42,000 contingency fund, Andreve said.

Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said she abstained from voting because she missed the work session on the project earlier on Tuesday.

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