Loyola completing plans to raze Boumi for recreation center Shriners will move from temple next year

November 14, 1997|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

A year after acquiring the nearby Boumi Temple Shrine property on the 4900 block of N. Charles St., Loyola College is finalizing plans to take down the temple and use the 20-acre site for a recreational center, college officials said.

The Rev. Harold Ridley, S.J., Loyola's president, said yesterday that the building project would begin next year when the college takes full possession of the property, purchased for $7.5 million from the Baltimore chapter of the fraternal Masonic organization, which endows more than 20 children's hospitals in North America.

"The [Boumi] Shriners will move this time next year," said Ridley. "We're currently working with architects and affected neighborhoods on the siting and design of a recreation and health center."

The recreation center plans drawn up under Ridley's leadership coincide with recently announced plans to break ground on the North Baltimore campus for a Selinger School of Business named for his predecessor, the Rev. Joseph A. Selinger.

The North Baltimore neighborhood organizations negotiating with Loyola over its plans for redeveloping the Boumi site -- which call for demolishing the temple built 40 years ago -- are the Homeland Association, the Wyndhurst Improvement Association and the Blythewood Association.

"The three associations and Loyola meet regularly to discuss development plans," said Ann Walsh of the Wyndhurst organization. "There is a process in place that will monitor whatever development takes place to make sure it is consistent with the residential character of the neighborhood."

Each group is represented on a North Baltimore Neighborhood Coalition subcommittee, which met with college officials last week to review preliminary drawings for a new recreational center, roughly the same scale as the existing building.

Tom Marudas, a Guilford resident acting as the subcommittee chairman, said, "In general, there was a very positive response by the three neighborhoods' representatives. We'd like to see something that blends in better [than the Boumi Temple] with the surrounding area."

The architectural design, drawn by a Boston firm, Sasaki Associates, shows an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium and an outdoor playing field for intramural sports on the northern edge of the property near Wyndhurst Avenue, Marudas said.

He said he understood the field would not have lights and that swimming would be the only sport with intercollegiate meets.

Pub Date: 11/14/97

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