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The Gazette

C COMMUNITY OMMUNITY NE N NEWS EWS www.gazette.net

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Washington Adventist Hospital looks to build in White Oak Takoma Park location would offer specific health services

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BY

MARLENA CHERTOCK STAFF WRITER

Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park is looking to build a second location in White Oak, which could provide improved ambulance and public transportation access to the hospital. They will continue operating certain services at the current Takoma Park location. The hospital filed a letter of intent with the Maryland Health Care Commission on Aug. 2. This starts a new cer-

tificate of need application which will be reviewed later in the year. Certificate of need applications are required before expanding or creating facilities like hospitals. The Maryland Health Care Commission reviews these applications in the state. Washington Adventist Hospital has been trying to build a new hospital since 2009, when it originally filed an application to build a 249-bed facility. The hospital withdrew that application when Maryland health regulators rejected the plan, according to Lydia Parris, the director of public relations for Washington Adventist. Parris said the new application considers how to build more cost-ef-

fectively with a plan for a smaller 202bed hospital on land Adventist owns on Plum Orchard Drive, near the Food and Drug Administration headquarters. The smaller hospital will have inpatient and emergency services. The current 252-bed hospital on Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park still will have a walk-in physician clinic, behavioral health services and outpatient services like radiology and a laboratory. The Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital also will continue to operate at the Takoma Park location. “It’s not like we’re operating two separate hospitals,” Parris said. “It’s two locations, but other health care services will be in Takoma Park. If you had to

stay at the hospital, you would stay at the White Oak facility.” Washington Adventist Hospital owns property in White Oak and decided it was a good location for the new hospital, according to Parris. Takoma Park residents will have to drive farther or take a longer ambulance ride to reach the White Oak hospital if they need emergency care, but Parris said the new location is more accessible with major connecting roads like Route 29 and Cherry Hill Road. People can access the hospital with public transportation like Metro bus and RideOn buses. “It is such a challenge for ambulances to come through in Takoma

Park,” Parris said. “They’re constrained by two-lane roads like Carroll Avenue.” Ambulances won’t struggle as much in White Oak, she said. Washington Adventist Hospital is expected to submit a final certificate of need application to the Maryland Health Care Commission on Oct. 4. “Once we get approval, which that is something we don’t know how long it will take, it takes six months to prep the site and another 30 months to build the facility in White Oak,” Parris said. After Oct. 4, the Maryland Health Care Commission will provide a decision, but there is not a set date. mchertock@gazette.net

Charter school’s fundraising prompts concern

Street theater

Montessori school needs to raise about $150,000 this year n

BY

LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER

PHOTO FROM GANDHI BRIGADE

(From left) Yuchabel Shanon, 14, Akosua Hawkins, 14, and Jason Reyez, 10, perform a short play, “Squid and Squirt Turn 18,” about taking on adult responsibilities, as part of a pop-up event, “More Than Just a Number,” in their neighborhood July 30. They were among the 26 Silver Spring youth who participated in the event, the culmination of the YMCA, Arts on the Block, Imagination Stage and Gandhi Brigade collaboration to teach performing, visual and media arts and help revitalize the Carroll Avenue-Quebec Terrace community in Silver Spring.

Group debating how to repair transit center Decision on concrete overlay due next week

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BY KARA ROSE STAFF WRITER

A group tasked with engineering the repairs at the Silver Spring Transit Center will debate the method to repair the varying concrete thickness at its meeting Thursday. A decision is expected next week, said David Dise, director of the county’s Department of General Services.

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The working group will also discuss a flow chart for submitting reviews for the mock-up beams at the center Thursday, Dise said in an interview Tuesday morning. Montgomery County is testing the concrete that will be used as beams to provide further support on the sections of concrete that lacked reinforcements. Those areas — called pour strips — will have about two to three inches of concrete removed to add metal reinforcements to make the sections stronger,

Dise said. Concrete will then be poured over those reinforcement rods, Dise said. The $120 million facility, at the corner of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, was slated to open in 2011, but a series of cracks found in the structure and disparities in the thickness of the concrete have delayed the project’s opening by two years so far. It is still unclear when the center will be open for business. Members of the working group will be discussing two op-

tions outlined in a report delivered to the county in March by Washington, D.C.-based KCE Structural Engineers to correct the cracking and concrete disparities. The concrete overlays, as they are called, are intended to ensure the concrete’s strength and durability. The overlay is expected to be the last round of repairs needed before the center opens, which the county said could happen as early as this year. krose@gazette.net

As Community Montessori Charter School heads into its second school year, some county and school system officials are concerned about fundraising efforts to complement Montgomery County Public School funds in the school’s budget. As of July 26, Crossway Community — the nonprofit that operates the county’s only charter school — was continuing to raise the roughly $150,000 needed to complement about $66,000 the school system contributed to the 2012-2013 school year budget, according to Kathleen Guinan, the nonprofit’s CEO. The nonprofit has no deadline to come up with the funds, said Larry Bowers, the school system’s chief operating officer. The organization will need to raise a similar amount of money for the 2013-2014 school year budget, Bowers said. Guinan said at a July 22 meeting with the County Council’s Education Committee that the school has the support of “highly reliable sources” in the county to help it raise the funds it needs. “We have consulted with these sources and have every confidence we will be able to meet our financial obligations,” Guinan said. So far, she said in late July, the school’s sources had included parent contributions, grants and fundraisers. Guinan has not been reached for further comment since a July 26 interview. Yet Councilwoman Valerie Ervin said at the meeting she had heard from parents who are “feeling a lot of pressure” when it comes to fundraising. “I’m just getting a sense of the enormity of the burden that this puts on the families that have to then raise the money to keep you guys going — that’s my concern,” said Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Takoma Park. Bowers said the school system knew when it approved the school’s application that securing the private funds would be a challenge but that

the nonprofit had committed to getting the money. Asked by Ervin what happens when the school is unable to bridge the gap, Bowers answered, “the board of education has not had that conversation.” Bowers said later in an interview he is “concerned” about the school’s ability to raise the funds it needs to fill the gap the school system does not pay for. The Board of Education and Superintendent Joshua P. Starr will need to sit down and talk about the “sustainability of the model,” Bowers said. Ervin said in an interview that there were plans for her to sit down with Starr and school board members sometime in September to discuss issues that came up during the meeting as well as others. The school’s ability to fill the funding gap is “clearly a problem,” she said. “For the conversation to take place after the charter has opened, leaves a lot of questions,” Ervin said. The school system does not cover all of the charter school’s expenses. The school does not receive any school system funds for its 3-year-old students and receives funds only for some of its 4-year-olds who are income eligible. During its first year, the school’s student body consisted of roughly 70 children ages 3 and 4, and about 104 students ages 3, 4 and 5 will attend the school this upcoming academic year. Guinan said during the meeting that the school is working to recruit more 4-year-olds who are income eligible and who the school system would pay for. Essie McGuire, a senior legislative analyst for the county, said limitations on public funding for the school’s younger students is a challenge of the model that will continue even as the school’s body grows to include more, older students. “The proportion will change, but that will be the gap going forward,” she said. Ervin remained optimistic. “I think what charters are good for is they’re like almost experiments for us,” she said. “They’re a good learning laboratory.” lpowers@gazette.net

Silverspringgaz 081413  

silver spring, montgomery county, gazette, maryland

Silverspringgaz 081413  

silver spring, montgomery county, gazette, maryland

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