City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

March 01, 2006

McDaniel alumnus gives $2 million for gym

A McDaniel College alumnus has given $2 million to help build a fitness center on the Westminster campus, school officials announced yesterday.

Leroy M. Merritt -- a commercial real estate developer whose 13 million square feet of industrial and office properties in the Baltimore-Washington area include the Merritt Athletic Clubs -- is a 1952 graduate of Western Maryland College, which was renamed in 2002.

The fitness center project is expected to cost $4 million and mark the first phase of the expansion and renovation of McDaniel's recreation complex, school officials said.

"We've been planning this for a number of years, and this [gift] makes it possible to not only break ground but finish it," Joan Develin Coley, McDaniel's president, said yesterday.

She said the fitness center will help McDaniel remain a competitive choice among prospective students.

Merritt could not be reached for comment yesterday, his spokeswoman said.

The school plans to break ground next month on the two-story fitness center, which will bear Merritt's name. Coley hopes to open the fitness center by next spring.

The center -- which will overlook the campus sports fields -- will include areas for individual workouts, team weight training, exercise classes such as Pilates, a media center and a food court for students and spectators at sporting events.

"We dearly need a new fitness center," said Bob Warfield, a 1962 graduate and McDaniel College trustee who serves on the institutional advancement and buildings and grounds committees. "The fitness center there is a step above sad. This is one of those kinds of projects that benefits everybody, the whole college community."

Merritt was an economics major whose entrepreneurial leanings were evident as a student when he created a campus-based business selling hot dogs, sandwiches and sodas in the residence halls after the dining hall had closed for the day, school officials said.

Gina Davis

Carroll County: Government

Bid awarded for south county well

The Carroll County commissioners awarded a bid yesterday to build a back-up well to serve the communities of Sykesville and Eldersburg in South Carroll. The commissioners approved the $1.5 million bid to American Contracting & Environmental Services Inc. in Clarksville to develop the Raincliffe well. It is one of two wells planned along Raincliffe Road, which could yield a total of about 300,000 gallons a day, according to county officials. The Raincliffe wells will supplement the water supply in populous South Carroll, which suffers from seasonal shortages.

Laura McCandlish

Baltimore: Education

Youth Commission to hold speak-out

The Baltimore City Youth Commission will hold a "Youth Speak Out" on the proposed school closures from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the War Memorial Building, across from City Hall. Speakers are to include Brian Morris, chairman of the city school board; Eric T. Letsinger, the school system's chief operating officer; and moderator Troy Johnson, co-host of 92Q's Big Phat Morning Show. Information: www.baltimorecity youthcommission.org or 443- 984-2400 or 410-545-3659.

Reservoirs

Boat fishing opens at 2 sites

The boat fishing season opens today in Baltimore's Liberty and Prettyboy reservoirs, according to the city Department of Public Works. The boat fishing season for Loch Raven Reservoir opens April 1. The seasonal cost of boating permits is $50. For the first time this year, rowing shells will be permitted on all three reservoirs, and kayak fishing will be allowed, according to public works officials. Gasoline-powered engines are prohibited from the reservoirs, as are inflatable, collapsible, sailing and pontoon boats. For more information, or to obtain a boating permit or copy of a pocket guide to boating and fishing, call 410-795-6150.

Bethel A.M.E.

Health fair scheduled Saturday

A health fair focused on Medicare Part D and the new prescription drug coverage plans is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 1300 Druid Hill Ave. The fair -- whose sponsors include the church, Maryland General Hospital and Rep. Elijah Cummings -- will include information on the new plans, as well as health screenings. Participants should take Medicare cards, identification, Social Security numbers and lists of their current medications. Information: Cassandra Wilks, 410-225-8397.

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