SPCA seeks state bond to help repay project loan $200,000 was borrowed for wildlife rescue facility

March 08, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking for a $100,000 state bond to help repay a $200,000 loan the society took out to transform its shelter in the 1800 block of Bay Ridge Ave. in Annapolis into an "oiled wildlife" rescue facility.

The SPCA center was designed specifically to treat animals caught in oil spills, Frank Branchini, executive director of the SPCA, told the county House delegation Friday.

Branchini likened the role of the new center to the Red Cross in that it responds to disasters, while other rescue centers are more like hospitals helping animals for daily emergencies.

But all area wildlife centers, including the Chesapeake Wildlife Sanctuary in Prince George's County, would likely assist if a major spill occurred, officials said.

Until such a disaster, the center, which opened last year, would serve as a nature preserve and education center.

Annapolis also is seeking state money this year. It would go to help pay for the renovation of the Stanton Center, a community center on West Washington Street.

The city wants $500,000 toward the $2.4 million cost of renovating and furnishing the building, which became the county's first public high school for black students about 80 years ago.

The building has served as a community center for several years, housing basketball leagues, youth dances, counseling programs and county health programs.

Most of those programs have been moved out in recent months to make way for the renovation, said Emory Harrison, director of city central services.

"This project is a cornerstone in the Clay Street revitalization plans," Harrison told the delegation.

A key part of the renovation is a commercial kitchen, which would make it easier for community groups to have food at events. Workers also are to remove lead paint and asbestos, replace a pre-1920s furnace and install sprinklers and an elevator.

If work begins this summer as planned, the center should reopen next summer, Harrison said.

Pub Date: 3/08/98

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