Proposed Springdale pharmacy agrees to local hiring, aid for schools -- Gazette.Net







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Representatives for a proposed CVS/pharmacy in Springdale are vowing to provide thousands of dollars for two Prince George’s County schools and focus on local hiring to ensure a good relationship with the community as they seek approval for the project.

The Ardmore Springdale Civic Association and CVS, which is planning a new pharmacy at Ardwick Ardmore Road and Md. 704, signed a Sept. 25 agreement that included the promise for a one-time $10,000 donation split between Ardmore Elementary School and Charles H. Flowers High School, said ASCA President Norman Whitaker. The agreement is the group’s effort to form mutually beneficial relationships between developers and patrons, and association president Norman Whitaker said the agreement was necessary before the project could receive any final county approvals.

The new CVS/pharmacy could open in late 2013 or early 2014, said Mike DeAngelis, the CVS/pharmacy public relations director. A Planning Board meeting on the project is scheduled for December.

The process to reach an agreement took about one year, said Whitaker, whose association represents about 3,000 residents. In addition to more lighting and “No Loitering” signs, the agreement also guarantees signs facing the intersection advertising that CVS is hiring — with an emphasis on hiring county residents — and access to a CVS official who can come to monthly meetings and inform residents about applying for jobs and any other news regarding the new store. Whitaker said there is no existing problem with crime in the area but the lighting and signs would be a deterrent.

“The main thing is they agreed to give the young people in our community job opportunities, which is very important,” Whitaker said. “That’s really going to go well. I think that’s the most important thing.”

DeAngelis said 150 to 200 new CVS pharmacies are built annually in the U.S., and representatives speak regularly with neighborhood associations on projects in their area. He said once a store manager is in place they will be able to meet with the civic association to address any concerns it has.

“A formal community agreement is a little unusual but we have been speaking with the civic association for several months to develop this and for this project it made sense to have this type of agreement,” DeAngelis said.

The agreement is the second community agreement the civic association signed with a developer. The ASCA formed a Feb. 3, 2011, community agreement with Owings Mills-based developer Klein Enterprises LLC outlining the retail residents did not want at the proposed Village at Springdale shopping center such as alcohol sales and 24-hour convenience stores. That shopping center is slated to go at the corner of St. Josephs Drive and Ardwick Ardmore Road, 1.5 miles away from the proposed CVS but still is in predevelopment stages, said Daniel Klein, who works in development and acquisitions for Klein Enterprises.

Flowers Principal Gorman Brown wrote in a Monday email to The Gazette he was unaware of the money being earmarked for schools and said he likely would use it to celebrate student academic achievement every school quarter.

Beverly Thomas, a Springdale resident of 14 years and mother of Ardmore fourth-grader Julian Thomas, 9, said she was not aware that money for local schools was part of the agreement and that she is pleased the teenagers at Flowers might have an opportunity to find part-time or seasonal work close by. But Thomas said she also is focused on long-term job security for the youth.

Thomas said she would like to see CVS/pharmacy start a long-term partnership with Flowers to mentor students interested in pharmacy or provide scholarships.

“Since they are a huge national chain, there should be some incentive to encourage our black students, male and females, to look at careers in pharmaceuticals, whether it’s pharmaceutical sales or being a pharmacist,” Thomas said.

DeAngelis said Thomas’ ideas are something his company would be interested in speaking about once the store opens because a store manager could potentially support a program that links the pharmacy and the school.