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ARC gets grant for expansion

February 11, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - The Washington County Association for Retarded Citizens was awarded a $821,000 state grant Wednesday to build an addition to its Florida Avenue activity center.

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The new space will allow the association to move out of the 74-year-old Chewsville School, which it has rented from Washington County government for 20 years.

"The boiler is bad. The floor is warped. It's outlived its usefulness," said Robert DeHaven, the association's executive director.

Construction on the 20,000-square-foot addition at 840 Florida Ave. will start as soon as the weather permits. DeHaven said he hopes it will be open by September.

The addition will allow the association to serve 75 developmentally disabled people, eight more than before.

It will provide space for disabled clients to do contract work, with the intent of creating small businesses that may spin off into the community.

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Clients keep the profits from the work they do, DeHaven said.

The association has an employment training center at 12841 Salem Ave. in Hagerstown.

The project has been in the works through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for five years, DeHaven said.

The Maryland Board of Public Works formally approved the grant Wednesday.

Total cost of the addition is $1.1 million. In 1996, the state gave the association $34,000 toward architecture fees.

The construction contract was awarded to Building Systems Inc. of Hagerstown, the low bidder.

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