Salvation Army close to $1.8 million fundraising goal for new facility

January 03, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Maj. Robert Lyle, right, and Washington County Commissioner John Barr, who serves with Amy Whittington as co-chair of The Salvation Army's Capital Campaign, discuss on Monday a $1.8 million Salvation Army facility planned for construction behind existing Salvation Army buildings on George Street in Hagerstown.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Officials with The Salvation Army said Monday they have almost reached their fundraising goal to build a $1.8 million facility that would include new offices and a gymnasium in Hagerstown’s West End.

Maj. Robert Lyle said the building would be behind existing Salvation Army buildings on George Street. He said The Salvation Army has raised about $1 million for the project and officials hope to raise the remaining $800,000 within the next several months.

“We believe we should be able to start (construction) by July,” Lyle said. “We’ve outgrown our current facilities. We’ve been in this location since 1949.”

Lyle said the bulk of construction would occur on the land that houses a playground behind the existing Salvation Army buildings. The playground, he said, would be moved to another spot on the property.

The Salvation Army started fundraising about six weeks ago, Lyle said, but the official campaign won’t begin until Jan. 17.

“We had a couple of board members step up and make generous donations,” he said.

The building that currently houses The Salvation Army offices at 534 W. Franklin St. will be converted into transitional housing to help women and children who can’t afford a place to stay, Lyle said. When finished, the facility will have about 45 beds.

Lyle said the new building will have office spaces for The Salvation Army and provide a gymnasium in which children can play during inclement weather. The gymnasium, he said, also can be used to host job fairs and other activities.

Washington County Commissioner John Barr, who serves with Amy Whittington as co-chair of The Salvation Army’s Capital Campaign to raise money for the new building, said The Salvation Army has served a vital role feeding and clothing residents in the city’s West End for the past 61 years.

“(The new facility) will be a tremendous asset to the community,” Barr said.

Lyle said he wanted to thank the community for its financial support toward the new building.

“We have a community that believes in The Salvation Army,” he said. “We want to tell them we appreciate that.”

Over the last year, The Salvation Army has served 16,000 residents in Hagerstown and the surrounding area, according to Salvation Army statistics.


To make a donation

People who want to donate to The Salvation Army may call 301-733-2440, ext. 212, or mail a check to The Salvation Army Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 747, Hagerstown, MD 21741-0747.

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