Governor pledges money for center in Catonsville

January 10, 1998|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

With the General Assembly session due to start Wednesday, Baltimore County already has achieved one of its legislative goals for this year: state money for the proposed Bloomsbury Community Center in Catonsville.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced during a Catonsville Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Knights of Columbus hall yesterday that he will include $1.5 million in his capital budget for renovation of the former Catonsville Middle School on Bloomsbury Avenue this year.

He also toured Catonsville's Frederick Road business district to see where a $2.1 million street beautification project is to begin in March.

The cost of the two-year, $6.3 million Bloomsbury project is to be split by the county and the state. Glendening's commitment is for the first year of state matching funds.

The state money means "the only divisive issue in this area for several years has been put to rest," Gregory Morgan, former executive director of the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, said at the luncheon.

The building, at 106 Bloomsbury Ave., was erected in 1925 as Catonsville High School. It was used after 1954 as a junior high and middle school but became vacant eight years ago. Controversy arose after county school officials decided in 1995 not to renovate it as a middle school.

Under a Ruppersberger administration proposal, sections of the building added after 1925 would be demolished and replaced with a 7,500-square-foot gym. The original 56,000-square-foot building would be renovated for community use.

Del. Thomas E. Dewberry, a Catonsville Democrat, said the governor's decision to include the money in his portion of the capital budget will give other county projects a better chance for funding in the legislature's smaller portion of the election-year spending plan.

Pub Date: 1/10/98

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