Gaithersburg center likely to receive state aid for renovations -- Gazette.Net


The General Assembly is planning to fulfill Gaithersburg’s funding request on behalf of the city-owned Casey Community Center for much-needed renovations, according to city officials.

Earlier this year, the city of Gaithersburg submitted a state bond bill seeking $130,000 for the design, construction and renovation of the facility at 810 S. Frederick Ave.

The Senate is set to appropriate $50,000 and the House is preparing to appropriate $80,000 for the projects, said Monica Sanchez, the city’s legislative affairs manager.

“Nothing’s final until the last day of session,” she added.

With the funding request expected to be fulfilled, the design phase will begin July 2014 and construction will start July 2015, lasting about 15 months, according to bond bill documents.

The cost for acquisition, design, construction and equipment for the project is estimated to be just over $260,000, documents show. The city of Gaithersburg’s Capital Improvements Program is expected to fund half of the total cost.

Katie Gleeson, executive director of the Casey Community Center, said she was pleased with the outcome of the request.

“I am very excited for the city to receive funding which will support the enhancement of the Casey Community Center and the citizens of Gaithersburg,” Gleeson wrote in an email to The Gazette.

Gleeson testified on the center’s needs at a March 8 hearing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee.

One of the major necessary projects is the renovation of the kitchen so that it can be brought into compliance with current code and safety standards, and become a productive space for community programming, Gleeson said at the hearing.

To address previous complaints from renters, money will be spent on converting the floor in the primary rental room to a dance-ready floor, improving the sound insulation between the first and second floors, and installing a separate heating and cooling system unit on the second floor, according to Gleeson’s testimony.

A former apartment unit will also be converted to a conference room, Gleeson said, to provide space for staff meetings, parent meetings for the preschool program, and rental transactions.

Built in 1938, the Casey Barn was acquired by the city of Gaithersburg in 1971 from Eugene B. Casey, a Maryland philanthropist and builder. Six years later, the barn was converted into the Casey Community Center. Today, the center acts as a city hub for nearly 215 recreational classes each year and accommodates 1,825 hours of instruction annually, according to Gleeson’s testimony. The facility serves 90,000 people annually.