Changes planned for center

August 18, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Commissioners decided yesterday to explore the possibility of designing the planned Westminster Senior Citizens Center so that a second story can be added to part of the building in the future.

The center was planned for a nine-acre site off Bishop Street behind Change Inc. and the Winchester Country Inn. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 1995, at an estimated cost of $3.3 million.

Yesterday, Keith Kirschnick, county director of public works, told the commissioners that space could be saved by rearranging the center's parking area and removing the median from the center's driveway.

He said the changes would allow a two-acre parcel to be set aside for future development, perhaps for doctors' offices.

At a July 13 meeting, Commissioner Donald I. Dell had expressed concern that allowing the senior center to occupy nine acres near the Carroll County General Hospital might prevent doctors' offices or other outpatient services from locating there.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge suggested yesterday that space could be saved in the future if the senior center were designed so that it could be expanded by adding another story.

Mr. Kirschnick said it would cost an extra $500,000 to construct the entire building so that a second story could later be added. He said the added cost would be for the sturdy footings, steel beams, and reinforced floors and walls and other changes that would be needed to support a second story.

He suggested the possibility of designing the building so that the area planned as offices -- about 6,000 square feet of the building's total 27,000 square feet -- could have a second story added. If a second story is built, he said, administrative offices could move upstairs and the senior center could expand into the vacated space.

"That would be a way to provide plenty of additional space, yet minimize the cost," Mr. Kirschnick said. The commissioners asked him to look into such a plan.

Mrs. Gouge also asked if the county should consider building a parking garage at the senior center, to conserve additional space.

However, Mr. Kirschnick said a parking garage would cost about $2 million.

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