Center to provide housing for independent seniors Site in Westminster also has adult day care

December 07, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A former Westminster school building will reopen next week )) with a new role and a new name.

The former West End School will become West End Place. The renovated building will feature an adult day care center and eight studio apartments for low-income seniors.

Karen K. Blandford, Westminster city housing and community development administrator, obtained $710,000 in grants for the renovation of the school building at 7 Schoolhouse Ave. It most recently housed the Westminster Senior Center.

Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland Inc. contracted with the Westminster Common Council to use the city-owned building after it became vacant in October 1996. The senior center and county Bureau of Aging moved from the school to a new building at 125 Stoner Ave.

The private, nonprofit agency will move its South Carroll Adult pTC Day Care Center from Sykesville to Westminster and will manage the apartments, which are for senior citizens who can live independently with some support services. The agency will lease the building from the city for $1 a year.

Family and Children's Services is responsible only for furniture, Blandford said.

The building was to open in May, but renovation was delayed when a section of the roof collapsed late last year; one state agency overruled another and ordered the installation of a commercial kitchen, which city officials had been told was unnecessary; and the building contained more lead paint than expected, requiring additional abatement.

"Each of these put us behind schedule and not in wonderful shape on the budget," Blandford said. "But now it's nearly complete, and it's a better building."

Family and Children's Services has begun accepting applications from prospective tenants. Tenants must be age 60 or older and may be physically disabled or frail, but must be mentally alert, said Sallie Hedenstad, the agency's director of elder services.

"There will be some activities planned, but this is not senior-assisted housing. This will be more independent than that," Hedenstad said.

She said most tenants will have annual incomes from $10,000 to $18,000.

Tenants who qualify for Housing and Urban Development Section 8 subsidies will pay 30 percent of their incomes toward monthly rent. Blandford said the rent has not been set but will probably be about $400 a month.

Tenants will be charged additional fees for services such as help with bathing or cooking. The apartments will have security protection, but tenants must be able to stay alone at night without a caregiver, Hedenstad said.

Westminster Councilwoman Suzanne P. Albert, a registered nurse and director of the Sykesville adult day care center, will become director of West End Place. She said the center, licensed for 20 adults, will be able to accommodate twice that many in the new location.

Information about apartment rentals: 410-795-0534 until Friday; 410-848-2433 or 410-840-0406 after Saturday.

Pub Date: 12/07/98

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