Vote due on Superblock money


Anne Arundel County's House delegation could give the Glen Burnie urban renewal project a jump start if it approves a $1 million bond bill that could allow construction of an ice rink and amphitheater in one corner of the Superblock.

The vote on the bill, originally scheduled for today, probably will be held next week, according to Del. Janet Greenip, a Severna Park Republican.

The 7,200-square-foot rink would take up less than half an acre in the southwest corner of the 5.6-acre gravel parking lot that is the last piece of undeveloped, county-owned land in the Glen Burnie urban renewal district.

The site, bordered by Ritchie Highway, Crain Highway and Delaware Avenue, has been vacant for 15 years as developers have failed to come up with a plan residents and county officials would approve.

The rink and amphitheater are part of County Executive John G. Gary's plan to get developers interested in the rest of the parcel. The county would build the ice rink and amphitheater and turn over the nearby Arundel Center North to Anne Arundel Community College. A developer would complete the block as a village center with shops, housing and restaurants.

Mr. Gary would have to match the state's $1 million to build the rink.

The Glen Burnie Town Center Committee saw a rough sketch of the plan Tuesday. "We were just doing a concept discussion so the committee can get an idea for how the area could look," said Patricia A. Barland, the county's urban renewal program manager.

The rink would be about two-thirds the size of the $1 million ice rink at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, which is big enough to accommodate hockey matches, Ms. Barland said.

John T. Keene, chief of the Planning and Construction Division for the Department of Recreation and Parks, said the Glen Burnie rink would cost about $600,000 to build. He had no estimates of the cost of the amphitheater.

"The idea was to have some dual use of space so it could be used as an ice rink in the winter and in the warmer months, people could sit in the area for shows," said Richard Josephson, chief of the Long-Range Planning Division of the county Department of Planning and Code Enforcement.

The town center committee voted unanimously Tuesday to support the project, Ms. Barland said. The Northern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce also supports the project, she said.

The committee envisions a rink similar to one at Fountain Square Pavilion in Reston, Va., Ms. Barland said.

That 6,600 square-foot rink is used for ice skating from November to March. It is partly covered by a 44-foot high, cantilevered glass roof. It can be enclosed with fabric panels and has a built in sound and lighting system for shows in

warm-weather months.

Mr. Gary wants the town center committee to complete by June a request for proposals for development of the rest of the Superblock.

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