Cockeysville school is revived as housing complex for seniors York Road facility to open this month with 120 units

December 02, 1998|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

After being shuttered for 17 years, the old Cockeysville Elementary School on York Road will reopen later this month -- as a much-welcome and long-awaited home for senior citizens.

Warren Place, a $9.1 million housing project for moderate-income elderly residents, will become home to its first group of tenants around Dec. 15, said Leo D'Aleo, an architect whose Baltimore architectural firm, D'Aleo and Associates, is a project partner.

D'Aleo said about 50 tenants are committed to renting at the complex of 120 one-bedroom apartments. Project managers are reviewing applications from enough prospective tenants to fill the three-story complex later next year, he said.

"Most of the tenants are people who lived in the area or come from the area. It's a neighborhood project," D'Aleo said.

The county has been trying to find a use for the school since it closed in 1981. Efforts to sell the building at auction failed in 1984 because of concerns that plans for the site would upset neighbors. Proposals to use the site as a music school and store and as a school for emotionally troubled youths also failed.

The developers, D'Aleo and DCI Healthcare Inc. of Columbia, will rent the apartments for $500 to $550 a month. Tenants must be older than 62 and have annual incomes below $22,740 for individuals and $25,980 for two people.

Warren Place also will include a 12,500-square-foot senior center on the south side of the complex that is tentatively scheduled to open in January, said JoAnne Copes, Baltimore County manager for the project.

Charles L. Fisher Jr., director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging, said that the senior center in the 10500 block of York Road will replace a center operating two days a week in a Lutherville church.

The developers, who faced a Dec. 31 deadline to qualify for federal tax credits, also will build a concession stand and restroom for the former school's baseball fields, which will remain open to the public.

Councilman T. Bryan McIntire, a Republican whose north county-Owings Mills district includes the site, said the opening of the housing complex comes as a relief to neighbors worried about what was proposed for the 3.4-acre site.

"Everyone out there seemed anxious that this project become a reality," McIntire said.

Neighbors agreed with that sentiment.

Lemuel S. Cookman, a 95-year-old retired health inspector who has lived across York Road from the site since 1955, said that he is glad that children will be allowed to use the fields.

"I just hope the kids aren't discouraged. I like to see them keep coming here to play ball," he said.

Pub Date: 12/02/98

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