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Proposed arts school gets a $400,000 state grant

March 24, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

A proposed arts school in downtown Hagerstown is slated to get a $400,000 state grant, Sen. Donald F. Munson said.

Munson, R-Washington, sought the grant on behalf of the charter school being developed in the former Henry's Theater on South Potomac Street.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee approved the grant as part of its fiscal 2005 capital budget proposal.

The committee denied two other grant requests, but the House Appropriations Committee could still add money to the budget.

Washington County lawmakers want $200,000 for a homeless shelter at the corner of West Franklin and Prospect streets and $150,000 for expanding Shafer Park in Boonsboro.

Lawmakers originally asked for $500,000 for the arts school.

Washington County Public Schools is studying what needs to be done to renovate the building. An early estimate has placed the cost at about $4 million.

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Students would audition or submit portfolios to apply to the school, which would open in the fall of 2006.

Four other Washington County nonprofits are slated to get state grants totaling $750,000. They are:

  • American Red Cross, $250,000 for its new headquarters off Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown.

  • Cumberland Valley Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, $200,000 toward a training center. The group may put the center in the former Hagerstown Armory on Potomac Street in Hagerstown.

  • Girls Inc., $200,000 toward a new gym at its West Washington Street facility in Hagerstown.

  • Boys and Girls Club, $100,000 toward a new gym at Noland Village in Hagerstown.


The four nonprofits have been seeking grants through the state's bond bill program for the past three years.

In an 11th-hour deal before last year's session ended, Ehrlich agreed to put those projects into his proposed fiscal 2005 capital budget.

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