County drops plan for soccer arena in Glen Arm

September 19, 1996|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Plans to supply hundreds of young Baltimore County soccer players with an indoor arena at a former Grumman warehouse capable of housing seven fields have been abandoned by the Ruppersberger administration.

The county now plans to buy only one of the two gigantic buildings once used as an aircraft-parts factory in Glen Arm. The warehouse on the west side of Long Green Pike, for which the county has offered $1.7 million, would be used for repairing county fire and public works department equipment and for training.

"We've all but given up on building two," said Robert J. Barrett, special assistant to County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III.

The recent opening of a privately operated indoor soccer facility in White Marsh has removed the need for the other building, he said. Local community groups opposed the plan, fearing more traffic on their narrow, rural roads.

Buying one of the buildings, however, could be a good deal for the county, which badly needs new facilities for repairing large fire engines and public works equipment, and a place to house other county shops, Barrett said.

The county Fire Department's Towson repair garage, for example, was built in 1954 for a fleet one-fourth the size of the current one. Half the work must be done outside year-round.

The purchase would allow the county to get out of obsolete facilities in Towson and at the Texas complex on York Road, which appraisers have said is worth as much as $6.6 million to developers.

The $1.7 million bid for the former Grumman warehouse is much lower than the $5 million that both buildings, covering a combined 360,000 square feet, would have cost. Grumman attorney John B. Howard said the company has not decided on the county offer.

Pub Date: 9/19/96

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