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Rescue Mission to get $750,000 in renovations

December 26, 1998|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

A Hagerstown homeless shelter is planning $750,000 in renovations.

When completed, the Union Rescue Mission at 125 North Prospect Street will have a new two--story structure connecting two of its buildings. Also planned are new plumbing and heating systems and extensive interior renovations, according to mission Director Bruce Shank.

Construction permits for the renovations are still awaiting final approval, but a city official said he expects the plans will be approved within the next few weeks.

Shank said the construction will be done in three phases as money is raised. Shank said he hopes construction will begin in early spring. He said the project could take anywhere from one to three years to complete.

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Phase one is the construction of a new building to connect the administration and dormitory building to a building which now houses a television studio. It is expected to cost about $150,000.

Phase two, replacing the plumbing and heating systems, parts of which have been in place since the buildings were built in 1908, is expected to cost $450,000.

The final phase, additional renovations to the dining room and other rooms, is expected to cost $150,000.

Shank said a public fund-raising campaign will be launched soon after the renovation plans are approved by the city.

Hagerstown Building Inspector Michael Heyser said the site plans for the renovations have already been approved, and final approval of the building permit could come as early as next week.

"There is no reason to believe it won't be approved," Heyser said.

Shank said the renovations will not affect the shelter's capacity, which will remain at 70.

About 35 men stay at the mission each night, Shank said. Thirty of those men are involved in the mission's substance abuse rehabilitation program.

The mission also provides hot meals for between 15 and 40 people a day, Shank said.

The mission is a private non-profit organization. It opened in Hagerstown 43 years ago.

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