Renovation volunteers to see Red Cross site

September 11, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

Major donors and contractors who contributed to the renovation of the American Red Cross building in Bel Air will receive an invitation-only preview of the new facility Sept. 29, agency officials say.

The public opening will be on Oct. 13.

When all bills are in, the project's cost will be between $70,000 and $75,000, Wayne Wigglesworth, Red Cross director of the Harford County chapter of the Central Maryland Region, said Thursday.

"It's all from donations," he said.

"We've moved in, although the work is only about 75 percent complete," Mr. Wigglesworth said.

Carpeting for the 4,400-square-foot building was installed on the second floor last week and will be installed on the first floor within the next few days, Mr. Wigglesworth said.

Interior trim and decorations, paving and landscaping will be completed in the next two weeks at the 122 S. Main St. location in Bel Air, he said.

Mr. Wigglesworth said he was eager to thank the 44 business owners in the Harford County Homebuilders Association who donated materials and services for the renovation.

The renovation committee -- Geoff Close, John Haggerty, Lehman Spry, Don Stephen, Don Young and Bob Ward -- began planning the project more than 18 months ago, he said.

Mike Jones of M & M Contracting served as general contractor, and coordinated the donations of materials and labor that brought the project together, Mr. Wigglesworth said.

"I'm not sure how unique this project is, but it has to be one of the most unique," he said.

Construction began last September, but the icy winter and spring rains delayed its progress.

When weather conditions improved, many of the volunteer contractors were behind in work at their own job sites and that delayed work on the Red Cross building even more.

"It's difficult to ask a volunteer to stop working on a profitable job and come work for free," Mr. Jones said.

Despite the cosmetic work still to be completed, supplies for any major disaster that might occur already are stored in the basement of the renovated building. The first community First Aid and Safety course in the large second-floor meeting room is set to begin Saturday, Mr. Wigglesworth said.

"Within a couple of weeks, the Disaster Room will be ready for full-time operation, except for a ham radio base station that we want to set up," he said.

Mr. Wigglesworth said several plaques will be unveiled to honor those who made the project possible.

Volunteers with 50 years of service to Harford County will be honored, too, along with two longtime volunteers who died recently.

A Disaster Room plaque will honor the late C. Robert Mitchell, of Aberdeen, and a Board Room plaque will honor the late board member A. Stanley Bird, said Mr. Wigglesworth.

"We just want to make it clear how much we appreciate everyone who has helped in any way," he said.

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