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Local Red Cross to break ground on new building

April 21, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Despite losing a state grant, the Washington County chapter of the American Red Cross will break ground next month on a new headquarters off Eastern Boulevard.

The nonprofit has been planning the new $2 million building for more than three years.

It has outgrown its cramped 2,400-square-foot headquarters at 113 S. Prospect St. in Hagerstown.

In 2001, the state awarded the Red Cross $300,000 for the project.

But when the nonprofit returned to the Maryland General Assembly the next year for more money, they were put off. The legislature turned down all nonprofits statewide that asked for grants.

Again this past legislative session, state budget woes forced lawmakers to put off the grants.

The Red Cross lost out on $250,000, which officials have said they plan to make up in local donations.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 1.

The 14,000-square-foot building on 5.4 acres at 1131 Conrad Court will allow the agency to accept walk-in blood donors and establish a disaster command center, officials have said.

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Girls Inc. and the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County also were denied state grants.

Girls Inc. has been raising funds to build a new gym at its Washington Avenue Center for five years.

The Boys and Girls Club wants to build a new gym at Noland Village.

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