Hospital, school seek to finance additions Grants would build gym, expand emergency room

March 01, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Two county nonprofit institutions, North Arundel Hospital and the Harbour School, are seeking state grants to help build additions. Officials for both say it's the first time they have asked for state money in the legislature in the form of bond bills.

North Arundel Hospital wants $800,000 to help pay for a new, larger emergency room at its Glen Burnie complex on Hospital Drive. The North Arundel Hospital Foundation has raised $4.8 million toward the total cost of $8 million, according to William J. Homoky, executive director of the foundation.

The current emergency room was designed for 38,000 to 39,000 visits a year, but treated 56,000 patients last year, said James R. Walker, hospital president and CEO.

The new emergency room will be twice as large, more secure and equipped with a chemical decontamination facility, an essential near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, said Dr. Richard T. Fields, chairman of the emergency department. Construction is expected to start in the spring, and the facility is expected to open by early summer, 1999.

"We will not be seeing patients in the hall, hopefully, any longer," Fields told the Anne Arundel House delegation Friday.

The Harbour School wants $400,000 to help pay for a 7,500-square-foot gymnasium under construction at the school on Green Holly Drive in Cape Saint Claire.

The private school has 116 students ages 5 to 21 with learning disabilities or other conditions such as brain injuries that prevent them from attending other schools. About half the students are from Anne Arundel County. The rest come from Prince George's County and other jurisdictions.

"There are very few schools like us in Maryland," said Director Linda Jacobs.

Without the Harbour School, many of the students would have to be sent to schools outside Maryland at great cost to the state, which must pay for their education, according to Del. Michael E. Busch, an Anne Arundel Democrat and bill sponsor.

The gymnasium will allow students to participate in sports and games year-round instead of only on fair-weather days, when the activities are held on the school's parking lot, according to Jacobs.

The school has raised $126,000 toward the total $620,000 cost, Jacobs said.

Senate committee votes to revoke certificate of need

A bill that would revoke the certificate of need of a controversial nursing home proposed for the Heritage Harbor area was approved by a Senate committee Wednesday and could be voted on by the full Senate Tuesday.

The State Health Resources Planning Commission issued the certificate of need for the nursing home in 1990, but opponents say developers have done little over the years to move the project forward.

A coalition of residents in older neighborhoods on the peninsula where the Beechwood LifeCenter would be built have fought the developers for years. They say the planned building is too large for the area and traffic created by nursing home employees would clog the community's narrow, winding roads.

Senators Robert R. Neall, a Republican whose district includes the 11.37-acre site, and John C. Astle, a Democrat, introduced emergency legislation to stop the developers last week. The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill after a hearing Tuesday.

Nursing home developers have said the senators' bill sends an anti-business message.

Bill would help to replace aging fire ladder truck

Del. Robert C. Baldwin, a Crownsville Republican, has introduced a $250,000 bond bill to help replace one more of the county fire department's old ladder trucks. The county already has agreed to replace two aging ladder trucks at a cost of approximately $1.3 million, according to Capt. Allan Graves, spokesman for the County EMS/Fire/Rescue.

Baldwin has proposed the bond bill to pay for half of the cost of replacing a third old truck and said he expects the county to come up with matching funds. The fire department has eight ladder trucks in service and has retired the two that will be replaced. Both were more than 25 years old, Graves said.

Mary Rosso files to run for House of Delegates

Glen Burnie activist Mary Rosso has filed as a Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates in District 31.

Rosso, 60, is a teaching assistant at Good Shepherd Center in Halethorpe where she works with troubled teen-aged girls. She serves as president of the Maryland Waste Coalition and is the founder of the local Coalitions of Citizens and Communities Against Fly-ash.

Pub Date: 3/01/98

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