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Washington County hopes to have senior center completed by late 2014

January 18, 2013

Requests for proposals for engineering and architectural services to convert a former U.S. Army Reserve Center to a senior center were to be sent out this week, Washington County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said Tuesday.

The 19,000-square-foot building on Willard Street is being purchased from Hagerstown for $625,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds. County spokeswoman Sarah Lankford Sprecher said settlement on the property will take place later this month.

Murray told the Board of County Commissioners that bids on the work could be back in about a month. The engineering and architectural work would likely take several more months with requests for bids on construction going out later this year, he said.

“Typically, a project like this would take two to three years,” Murray said. The county hopes to have the senior center completed by late 2014, depending on the extent of remodeling the building requires, he said.

The commissioners voted in November to purchase the center and its 4.6-acre lot. In December, Murray said renovating the center could cost an estimated $3.5 million.

If that figure is accurate, the cost would be considerably less than a proposal to build a senior center on the campus of Hagerstown Community College.

The commissioners in November rejected a low bid of nearly $6 million for the proposed center at the college.

Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham suggested the county see if the center could be used for senior or community activities in the months prior to it being renovated.

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— Don Aines

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