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Red Cross to build new headquarters

April 03, 2001

Red Cross to build new headquarters



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross is working to raise almost $2 million by this fall for a new headquarters.

The planned 14,000-square-foot building would be on a 5.4-acre lot at 1131 Conrad Court off Eastern Boulevard, said Cindy Blackstock Kline, director of emergency services for the Red Cross chapter.

The fund-raising campaign and proposed move is the biggest undertaking in the 84-year-old chapter's history, she said.

The building campaign received a boost with a $300,000 pledge earmarked by the Maryland General Assembly this year.

If $1.7 million is collected by early fall, the Red Cross could be in the new building by spring of 2003, Kline said.

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The public kick-off for the capital campaign will be in mid-June, she said. The campaign's slogan is "Continue the caring: Building for the future."

Kline said she was "cautiously optimistic" that the goals can be met. A feasibility study was done and donors have pledged money to the campaign, she said.

Residents can donate money or buy bricks for the new building, she said.

Kline said she did not have an estimate of how much money has been collected so far.

The new building would have a blood collection site, meaning blood donors would no longer have to go to off-premises sites to donate blood, she said.

The current headquarters at 113 S. Potomac St. is in a 150-year-old, 2,400-square-foot building that does not have space for some present and future needs, Kline said.

A cramped meeting room in the present building limits the size of health and safety training classes to about 10, she said. The new building would be able to accommodate 30 to 40 people in classes, she said.

The planned building would be handicap accessible, the existing one is not.

The $2 million includes $1.4 million for construction costs and $260,000 for land purchase and site preparation.

Anyone wanting more information about the campaign may call the chapter at 301-739-0717.

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