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Hagerstown OKs lease/purchase option for Discovery Station

December 21, 1999

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday voted 5-0 to introduce a lease and purchase option agreement with the Discovery Station at Hagerstown Inc. for the former Tusing Warehouse downtown.

A final vote on the agreement is expected on Jan. 25, City Clerk Gann Breichner said.

Discovery Station, a nonprofit corporation, plans to spend about $1 million to expand and renovate the city-owned warehouse to turn it into an interactive science center, according to group President Beverly A. Baccala.

Baccala said the Discovery Station science center could be open by June 2001.

A completed Discovery Station would likely include exhibits on dinosaurs and telescopes, among others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Discovery Station will lease the building at $1 per year for five years. Before the end of the lease Discovery Station can opt to buy the building for $110,000.

Also, construction or renovation at the site must begin before October, according to the agreement.

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The former Tusing Warehouse, a vacant three-story brick building, is at the rear of a parking lot at 58 E. Washington St. The building is near City Hall and is visible from the first blocks of East Franklin Street and North Potomac Avenue.

The city paid $360,000 for the building and adjacent parking lot in November 1997, according to city records.

- Dan Kulin

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