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Thread: Future uncertain for Rosewood (BS)

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    Reality Hacker Dan's Avatar
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    Default Future uncertain for Rosewood (BS)

    Future uncertain for Rosewood
    Closed state center for disabled sought for school campus
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...,3797886.story
    By Nick Madigan and Mary Gail Hare
    June 30, 2009


    The Rosewood Center, founded in 1888 as an asylum for the "feeble-minded," closes its doors for good today and awaits an uncertain future - with an expansion-minded college expressing interest in its space.

    Stevenson University would like to take over most of the sprawling Owings Mills campus, now filled with dilapidated buildings contaminated with lead and asbestos, and many neighbors of the facility say they'd be pleased to see the school move in.

    "It is a completely neglected time bomb and an environmental cesspool," said state Sen. Bobby A. Zirkin, a Democrat who represents the area. "Most of the buildings have to be torn down, and the cost of remediating is staggering."

    Gov. Martin O'Malley ordered the center closed early last year after the latest in a series of reports about substandard conditions.

    Most of the 166 people who lived in Rosewood at the time of the announcement have been placed in group homes - a move that prompted its own controversies - while 13 people with criminal histories were moved to a newer, secure unit at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.

    More than 500 employees have dispersed, some to jobs at other state facilities. Many retired or resigned and 97 were laid off, although state officials say they are still helping them find work.

    Other than security guards, only three state employees will remain on the site, a maintenance crew for its 30 buildings.

    Offer to other agencies
    Now about 200 acres but once more than three times that size, the site presents enormous environmental challenges before redevelopment can occur, and it could be months before the state decides what to do next.

    The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene plans to offer the Rosewood property to all state agencies and seek comment from Baltimore County officials before considering proposals from the public.

    For now, the campus remains vacant but for the ghosts of its troubled inhabitants. The once-stately stone-and-brick structures are overgrown with weeds and ivy and strewn with junked gurneys, file cabinets and wheelchairs.

    Zirkin supports the proposal from Stevenson, whose campus next door has nearly doubled in physical size and enrollment in the past five years. The university, until recently known as Villa Julie College, is considering using the land for athletic fields that could help accommodate a football program being launched, a park, an amphitheater and a school of education.

    No cost estimates
    It may renovate the newer buildings and use them for classrooms. There's no price tag yet, and the school would likely seek state and federal assistance for environmental work.

    "This is the only plan out there, but it is a great one," Zirkin said. "All of a sudden, Owings Mills could become a college town. The university could create a heart here for this community and take what has been a major problem and turn it into a community resource."

    Glenda G. LeGendre, a spokeswoman for Stevenson, said the university is "very interested" in using about 150 acres of the property, including setting aside some of the land as open space.

    In a letter to state officials, James J. Angelone, president of the Greater Greenspring Association, wrote that the university's proposal "is by far the best solution proposed for this site."

    Rosewood once housed more than 3,000 people, most of them severely retarded and completely dependent on others for their care. The long wards and echoing hallways were often their home for life, but the conditions and care were frequently judged to be substandard.

    'Badly neglected'
    Over the course of decades, residents drowned in bathtubs when left unattended or froze to death after wandering out into the snow.

    "It is a great thing for Maryland that this institution is closed," said Nancy Pineles, an attorney with the Maryland Disability Law Center, a watchdog group that promotes the civil rights of people with disabilities.

    "It was a badly neglected facility that didn't serve any purpose any more."

    In 2007, the law center called for state officials to shut down what it called "this flawed, outmoded institution," and noted findings by the state Office of Health Care Quality that conditions at Rosewood posed "immediate jeopardy to the health and safety of residents."
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  2. #2
    Level 3 User Carnage517's Avatar
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    When we drove through Sunday, you said it would be closing soon...I didnt think you ment THIS soon!
    "There is but one truth. If you avert your eyes from it, you will always remain nothing more than a puppet"-Schwarzwald

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    Another one bites the dust!

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    Reality Hacker Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumenfreak View Post
    Another one bites the dust!
    Look at it as a glass half full! We are only going to see more abandoned buildings and opportunity before a full demolition or takeover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Look at it as a glass half full! We are only going to see more abandoned buildings and opportunity before a full demolition or takeover.
    True, but its still sad to see plans for another complex to go down.

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    Level 3 User YellowSled's Avatar
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    lol.. didnt i just post that?
    ~Evan~ UA member #12
    Kosher Sausage, what?

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    Reality Hacker Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowSled View Post
    lol.. didnt i just post that?
    Yes, but it belongs in the public news section as well.

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    Senior Member Guy_Fawkes's Avatar
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    I saw this on the news. i thought, oh boy this is my final chance to go. Just wondering, is it worth it? From what I've seen in some photos it looks it, but I'm unsure about security and what not?

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    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    lolsecurity
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

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    Reality Hacker Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by don corleyone View Post
    lolsecurity
    Yea, pretty much. Security might stop and ask you how to get back to the security building if anything.

  11. #11
    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Yea, pretty much. Security might stop and ask you how to get back to the security building if anything.


    "have you seen my lunch? i can't find it anywhere"
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

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