Stingy with 'Shipley's Choice' Some residents oppose name on medical center

June 27, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

As construction equipment roars nearby, residents of Shipley's Choice have begun to accept the idea of a 120,000-square-foot medical complex as a neighbor.

What many of them haven't gotten used to is sharing the community name with the newcomer.

Construction of a 30,000-square-foot, two-story office building on the southeast corner of Benfield Boulevard and Veterans Highway began earlier this month and is the first of four planned by the University of Maryland Medical System.

The building, which will lease space to local physicians, and a 135-space parking lot are expected to be completed in December.

John Ashworth, senior vice president of the system, said officials are "leaning" toward the name "University Care -- the University of Maryland at Shipley's Choice."

"We do not feel it would damage the community," he said. "We feel it could enhance the community's image with a medical complex near the community."

But Edward L. Maddox, a member of the Shipley's Choice Community Association Inc., said the group is still opposed to the adoption of "Shipley's Choice" anywhere in the complex's name.

"I think one of the concerns is that every new commercial venture on Veterans Highway could be called 'Shipley's Choice,' " he said. "We don't want to set that precedent."

Susan Barrie agreed.

"Everything doesn't have to have Shipley's name on it," said the six-year resident of Oak Stump Drive.

The community association has suggested other names, such as "Severn Run" and "West Benfield."

Ashworth said the medical center will be a good addition to the community, offering a variety of benefits to its neighbors.

"It serves to bring together -- in one spot -- all the health services people need, rather than being all over the county" Ashworth said.

"And we're good neighbors," he said. "Nothing against shopping centers, but we're not a shopping center."

Shipley's Choice resident Paul Post said the name shouldn't matter.

"It doesn't bother me," he said. "It seems to me that we have bigger problems than that."

Maddox said the community association is still committed to convincing system officials to build a brick wall between the complex and the community. He said the wall is necessary to deter outsiders from parking their cars at the center and causing mischief in the community.

Ashworth contends that a black chain-link fence the system proposed adheres to the covenants of the community and will prevent the problems that residents are worried about.

"I think a chain-link fence would be fine," said Cheryl Wagner, whose home on Ironwood Court is directly behind the complex.

"It will be a deterrent to teen-agers drinking back there who come over here and cause all sorts of problems," she said.

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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