Superblock pavilion may be in jeopardy

November 24, 1992|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

The future of a performing arts pavilion that Glen Burnie planned to dedicate during next year's Memorial Day festivities may be in jeopardy.

The $90,000 pavilion, a temporary structure slated for the Superblock, was included in the county's current budget. Community leaders hoped the structure would draw people to downtown Glen Burnie and make the Superblock more attractive while the 5.6-acre tract on Ritchie Highway awaits redevelopment.

But now, in light of a tax cap and budget cuts, the project is being reconsidered.

"It's a financial decision. We are looking at everything we are doing to see if we really do need to do it," said Louise Hayman, spokeswoman for County Executive Robert R. Neall.

The pavilion was to be paid for with county bonds, so money for it cannot be spent on something else. But, Ms. Hayman said, maintenance, scheduling and other recurring expenses would have to come from the county's shrinking budget.

"There are policy considerations," said Victor Sulin, commercial revitalization coordinator. "There is still an evaluation going on."

Apart from financial matters, the structure's design has been questioned. County officials are concerned about vandalism and maintenance costs of the portable pavilion, Mr. Sulin said. The original design called for the pavilion to be made partly of heavy fabric and include a 40-foot stage.

"Everything is in limbo right now, the whole project right now, I guess," said Joseph Corcoran, who chairs the Glen Burnie Cultural Arts Pavilion Committee.

The advisory committee had submitted its report to the county's Department of Planning and Zoning in June favoring the pavilion.

Muriel G. Carter, president of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, said she fears the county will drop plans for the pavilion.

"I'd be very upset if that were to happen," she said.

Ms. Hayman said the county executive will likely make a decision by Jan. 1 on the pavilion, as well as other budget matters. That date would still allow for the temporary structure to go up in time for a dedication by the end of May, provided a design was approved, Mr. Corcoran said.

But if the design, financial considerations or other matters postpone starting work on the pavilion much past that date, the building might not be ready for its first performers until later in the summer, he said. As soon as he knows the status of the pavilion, he plans to call a meeting of his committee, which has not met since early summer.

County Councilman C. Edward Middlebrooks, a Democrat whose district includes Glen Burnie and who pushed for the pavilion, said the delays are testing his patience.

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