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Pastor to open day-care center on Potomac Street

August 03, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Pastor to open day-care center on Potomac Street



A day-care center able to care for up to 400 pre-schoolers is expected to open in January at the former Broadway School, now Grace Academy, on North Potomac Street in Hagerstown, said the Hagerstown pastor who will run the center.

The day-care center probably will have about 100 children and an estimated 30 employees initially, said Garry Mebane, pastor and founder of Calvary Church of God in Christ at 645 Pennsylvania Ave.

The center will be called the Faith, Hope and Charity Child Care Center and will have no formal connection to Mebane's church.

The center will primarily offer day care for children ages 2 to 5. Mebane said the center probably will accept some infants too.

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He said no decision has been made on the amount parents will be charged, but he said it will be less than, or comparable to, other day-care facilities.

Mebane said he believes there is a great need for child care in the community.

"It came from having people in the congregation that needed child care. They wanted to go back to school or get a job but couldn't because there was no child care. It came from a need in the community," Mebane said.

Mebane first had the idea for a day-care center in 1993, and said serious work on the idea began in 1995.

Now Mebane is looking forward to finalizing the purchase of the former school building later this month.

Last week, the Hagerstown City Council unanimously approved loans for $160,000 with a 9.5 percent interest rate for the Faith, Hope and Charity group.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, Councilman Alfred W. Boyer and Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein praised the project for its excellent reuse of the building.

The city loans are second and third mortgages intended to help with operating expenses and the purchase of the building at 530 N. Locust St. The group also plans to take out a $250,000 first mortgage at Hagerstown Trust, according to city documents.

Mebane, 45, of Greencastle, Pa., currently works in telecommunications for a contractor at the Pentagon and will leave that job to run the day-care center.

Grace Academy is moving into a new building off Cearfoss Pike. Dennis Hoffman, academy administrator, said the new building is expected to be completed by January.

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