The state Board of Public Works last week approved a $100,000 grant for Carroll Haven Inc., allowing the directors of the program for thedevelopmentally disabled to construct a new facility without being saddled with mortgage payments.
The grant matched a $100,000 grant from the Mount Airy-based Ryan Family Foundation, which offered the money about one year ago contingent upon an equal state contribution. The Ryland Group, a homebuilding company, also agreed to contribute $50,000, based on the state grant, said Richard Murray, chairman of Carroll Haven's building committee and a member of the board of directors.
Delegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, assumed a lead role in pushing the request for state assistance through the system, keeping in close contact with then-secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Adele Wilzack, and Carroll Haven's directors. The Board of Public Works deferred a decision on the project at its December meeting.
"I'm unhappy it's taken this long, but I'm thrilled we've been able to get the approval," said Dixon.
Dixon also spearheaded an effort two years ago that produced $500,000 in grants from the state for planning and construction of a new day-activities building.
In 1989, the project had been listed last of 34 on DHMH's priority list, largely because technical issues concerning land ownership and road access had not been resolved. Dixon said he was able to convince health officials to move the project up because of its importance.
"We've been working on this now for three years," said Richard Glaser, Carroll Haven's executive director.
"We weren't at all sure we could raise the money for it. I think we've really surpassed all expectations. The fact that Delegate Dixon was on our side certainly helped our cause."
Carroll Haven offers day programs for the severely mentally and physically disabled, including speech and muscle therapy,life-skills training and employment training. Its adult day-care program is at capacity. It also provides additional family and indi
vidual support services.
Construction is expected to begin on the estimated $1.3 million project within the next few weeks and should take about 11 months to complete, Murray said. The facility will be built on three acres of land donated by the county off Bishop Street in Westminster, near the Winchester Inn.
The new, 14,000-square-foot building will replace about 7,800 square feet of space Carroll Haven leases at two Westminster locations. It will allow accommodation of about 25 additional clients in day programs, increasing the capacity to about 110, said Glaser.
Owning a building that carries no mortgage will result in signifi
cant savings each year and will allow the agency to spend more on services, staff and other operating costs, said the directors. Glaser estimates that Carroll Haven would have had to spend about $30,000 per year for 20 years had it arranged financing through a bank rather than receiving $250,000 in contributions from the state and private donors. The agency also will save about $35,000 in rent every year.