Community meeting set for July 19 to discuss future uses of former Washington County Hospital site

July 09, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE |
  • The grounds of the old Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown as seen from East Baltimore Street.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Officials from Meritus Health Inc., the parent corporation of Meritus Medical Center, as well as local and state organizations, will hold a community meeting Thursday, July 19, to discuss future uses of the former Washington County Hospital site in Hagerstown.

Meritus Medical Center, off Robinwood Drive just outside Hagerstown, opened in December 2010 when the longtime downtown hospital between East Antietam and East Baltimore streets closed.

The meeting will be in the fellowship hall of Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, 15 S. Mulberry St., from 6 to 8:30 p.m., according to Sharon Disque, executive director of Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Partnership.

Meritus officials will provide an introduction before consultant Sean Davis of Morris & Ritchie Associates will facilitate the discussion, field questions, and listen to concerns and ideas from residents about new uses for the property, Disque said.

Meritus has retained Davis’ firm and another, Lipman Frizzell & Mitchell, for an extensive real estate reuse study of the area, focusing more on the East End overall rather than just on the former hospital site, she said.

Disque called the area the “East End gateway.”

The study examines several blocks, largely the area from East Franklin Street to East Baltimore Street, bookended on either side by Mulberry Street and Cannon Avenue.

Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts about the area’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as information about past uses and ideas for new uses, Disque said.

“To look at only the Meritus-owned property was not going to maximize the opportunity that we have,” she said.

Excavation and light landscaping took place at the former hospital site, but it has sat idle since. The hospital’s adjacent parking garage still stands on the other side of East Antietam Street.

Partnering with Meritus on the study are Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Partnership Inc., Planning and Coding Administration Division of the City of Hagerstown, Hagerstown/Washington County Industrial Foundation Inc., Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

If you go ...

What: Community meeting about future use of former Washington County Hospital property

When: Thursday, July 19, 6 p.m.

Where: Fellowship hall at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, 15 S. Mulberry St.

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