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The Salvation Army breaking ground Friday on community center

August 29, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Maj. Robert Lyle
Maj. Robert Lyle

HAGERSTOWN — The Salvation Army will break ground Friday on an 11,000-square-foot community center to be built on George Street, according to Maj. Robert Lyle.

The Jim Shifler Family Community Center will house a gymnasium, computer room, game room and offices, Lyle said last week. It is the first phase of a project that also includes renovating and expanding The Salvation Army’s Transitional Housing Program for women and children, and purchasing a building for its thrift store.

“The Salvation Army’s been serving in the West End community since 1949, and we just have a tremendous need for more women and children shelter space,” Lyle said.

The current offices will be converted to shelter space when the new community center opens, he said.

The Salvation Army rents its current thrift store location at 534 Frederick St., and would like to buy that building or another building somewhere else for a thrift store, Lyle said.

The community center will be named for Jim Shifler, a dedicated member of The Salvation Army’s advisory board for more than 14 years, according to a press release from the organization.

The center will be available for community events and will be open to users “anywhere from youth to seniors,” Lyle said.

“It will serve as a safe, secure environment when the weather’s bad, and it will also offer just a larger facility to accommodate more people,” he said.

Construction on the center is expected to begin in October, and the center could open by early next summer, Lyle said.

The Salvation Army has been conducting a capital campaign to raise funds for the project. So far, about $1.4 million has been raised toward a goal of $1.8 million, the press release said.

“The dedication of community leaders and volunteers throughout Hagerstown and Washington County is about to pay off,” the press release said.

Those who would like to support the development project through the capital campaign or assist with the daily needs of The Salvation Army may do so by mailing contributions to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 747, Hagerstown, MD 21741-0747. Officials ask that contributions be marked to signify their intended use.

If you go ...

What: Groundbreaking ceremony for The Salvation Army community center.

When: Friday, 10 a.m.

Where: 541 George St., Hagerstown

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