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New AmeriCorps campus opens in Baltimore

Erin Schoenbeck, 22, of Watertown, S.D., claps as she leaves the FEMA Corps induction ceremony at the Perryville Fire Department's Minker Hall.
Erin Schoenbeck, 22, of Watertown, S.D., claps as she leaves the FEMA Corps induction ceremony at the Perryville Fire Department's Minker Hall. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

The newly renovated AmeriCorps campus officially opened Monday in Southeast Baltimore as a training site for members who will be deployed to disaster areas and sent to help in schools and parks.

The Atlantic Region Campus, which is in the former Sacred Heart of Mary School, could house as many as 240 members of the National Civilian Community Corps, an AmeriCorps unit. The campus will train members that will serve in 11 states, as well as Washington, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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"AmeriCorps NCCC members refurbish inner-city schools, construct trails in national parks, and help communities affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy rebuild," Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said in a statement.

"When these young leaders go into a community, they become part of that community. I assure you that Baltimore will be proud of what future AmeriCorps NCCC teams accomplish in Maryland and other states as a result of the training they receive at this new campus."

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More than 2,000 individuals, ages 18 to 24, participate in the National Civilian Community Corps each year.

Renovations began on the old Graceland Park school in early 2013. The school was closed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2010.

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