Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

November 21, 2006

Construction begins on retirement center

Construction is under way on a multimillion-dollar retirement community at the closed Fort Howard Veterans Affairs Medical Center in eastern Baltimore County.

The retirement community, largely geared toward veterans, will feature 10 new buildings, including independent living and assisted living and skilled nursing care, officials said at a ceremony yesterday. A VA outpatient clinic, veterans museum, and wellness center are also scheduled to be built at the 94-acre site.

The first phase of the project, which some consider a model for redevelopment of VA facilities across the country, is scheduled to be completed in about five years, officials said. The $180 million facility, which will be called Bayside at Fort Howard, is a collaboration between the Department of Veteran Affairs and a private entity, Fort Howard Senior Housing Associates, officials said.

"This can be a prototype for the rest of the United States - for public-private partnerships for the reuse of VA facilities" to better serve veterans, said R. James Nicholson, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs.

About 1,300 beds are expected to be available at the new retirement community, and 500 people have asked to be placed on its waiting list, officials said.

Raymond H. Glock, a Korean War veteran, said he is on the waiting list and that he was glad to see that the hospital, which closed in 2002, is being converted into a retirement community. "A lot of us veterans are looking forward to this," he said. "It's a fort, and that's what veterans are all about. It's got some nostalgia about it."

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said she is pleased to see the facility being converted for the needs of veterans. "We're going to have the VFW instead of the BMW," she said.

The facility will create about 800 construction jobs and more than 600 permanent jobs, officials said. Construction for the facility is expected to be completed by 2012.

Nick Shields

Countywide

Work force centers relocating

The Towson Workforce Development Center will close tomorrow to prepare for its move to Hunt Valley.

The center will reopen Dec. 13 at 11101 McCormick Road, Suite 102, where it will share space with the Community College of Baltimore County's Hunt Valley campus.

The Administrative Office of Employment & Training will relocate Dec. 21 to the Jefferson Building, 105 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 300, in Towson.

During the transition period, job seekers may continue to use the resources at the Eastpoint Workforce Development Center, 7930 Eastern Boulevard.

Trash pickup

Holiday prompts schedule change

County residents whose trash or yard materials would normally be collected Thursday should set it out Thursday night for collection Friday.

Residents whose recyclable bottles and cans or mixed paper would normally be collected Thursday are asked to hold these recyclables until Dec. 7, the next scheduled day.

Trash and recycling drop-off facilities, including the Eastern Sanitary Landfill, as well as county offices, will be closed on Thursday. The landfill will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Residents may call the Bureau of Solid Waste Management's 24-hour customer service line at 410-887-2000 to obtain a collection schedule or directions to the nearest recycling drop-off center, or log on to www.baltimore countyonline.info/recycling.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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