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Science center to ask $500,000 for project

January 18, 2001

Science center to ask $500,000 for project



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Discovery Station officials may ask Hagerstown and Washington County governments for as much as $500,000 to help pay for the $1.4 million project, Discovery Station Treasurer Dave Barnhart said Tuesday.

Barnhart said, however, the amount ultimately requested from the city and county could change.

Speaking before a joint meeting of the Hagerstown City Council and Washington County Commissioners, Barnhart said the current funding plan for the interactive science center calls for receiving $375,000 from the state, $25,000 from the Washington County Gaming Commission, $500,000 from the private sector and about $500,000 from "local government."

Neither the state nor the Gaming Commission have acted on the funding requests.

A private fund-raising campaign has not begun. Barnhart said so far the group has $6,000 in private contributions.

"A lot of things are pending," Barnhart said.

Barnhart did not ask the city or county elected officials for a contribution Tuesday. He said the meeting was a chance to present both bodies with Discovery Station's proposed budget and business plan.

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The $1.4 million budget for Discovery Station would pay for construction and the first year of operations, he said.

During the meeting, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II called Discovery Station a "great project."

"We probably need $700,000 total to get where we want to. I believe we have an opportunity here to finish a great project," Bruchey said.

Commissioner Bert Iseminger said county funding for Discovery Station will probably be considered in March, "when we have a better handle on our budget and their needs."

Discovery Station is planned for the former Tusing warehouse between the first blocks of East Franklin and East Washington streets in downtown Hagerstown. The building is owned by the city and is being leased to Discovery Station for $1 a year for the next five years, Barnhart said.

The target opening date for Discovery Station is fall 2001, but group President Beverly Baccala said it probably will open in spring 2002.

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