Elementary school could be converted into senior housing as early as 2000

January 26, 1998|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A Howard County housing official has announced that a 46-unit senior housing complex in the former Elkridge Elementary School building could open as early as 2000 if state funding is approved.

Leonard Vaughan, an administrator for the county Office of Housing and Community Development, outlined the plan before about 40 members of the Greater Elkridge Community Association last week.

Vaughan said at the meeting Thursday that in March the county plans to ask the state Department of Housing to help subsidize conversion of the antiquated school off U.S. 1 in Elkridge.

If funding is approved, work to convert the building will begin by the end of year and is expected to be completed in 12 months, Vaughan said.

"We want to work as fast as we can, but also with you," he told the audience. "We want to make sure that the development will be an asset to the community."

Kevin Doyle, vice president of the community association who is also a member of the Surplus School Use Committee, said the committee had struggled with proposals for the old building.

"We're pleased that we were able to come up with a use for it," he said.

"But [the civic association members] still need to see the final plans and get feedback from residents in the immediate area around the school before we can make a final decision" on support for the proposal.

The plan includes converting much of the second and third floors into 46 apartments for seniors and building eight units for battered women and their children, Vaughan said.

The proposal also calls for building 4,500 square feet of community space and a gymnasium, Vaughan said.

Several residents questioned Vaughan about additional traffic that could be generated, but he downplayed the problem.

"Seniors don't generate that much traffic, and what traffic they do generate is during the nonrush hours," Vaughan said. "I don't think [the center] will affect traffic too much."

Pub Date: 1/26/98

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