Leaders break ground on multi-generational community center in Severn
By Kathy Knotts
A new community center is coming to northwestern Anne Arundel County. State and county leaders joined County Executive Steuart Pittman last week to break ground on the new Severn Center, an intergenerational facility to be built at 1160 Reece Road in Severn.
The $15.7 million facility, on land adjacent to Van Bokkelen Elementary School, will be the new home of a regional Boys & Girls Club, a senior activity center, gymnasium and a community space. Local organizers had been asking for a community center in the area for decades. Nearly 30 years ago, Glenda Gathers scratched out plans for the center. Known in the community as “Mrs. G”, Gathers was on hand at the community celebration to witness the progress. Organizers say the Severn Center should open in 2023.
An $800,000 grant was included in the capital budget by Governor Hogan through the state’s Department of Aging to specifically support the Senior Activity Center, and an additional $2 million grant was included by the Senate.
“To finally have every dollar allocated for construction of this new community center is fulfillment of a dream that residents had 30 years ago,” said County Executive Pittman when the grant was announced in April. “None of it would have been possible without the passion of residents and their strong delegation of elected representatives from District 32.”
“I am delighted to see that the entire State Senate supports the Severn Center … my colleagues understand how important this project is to our residents in the Severn community,” said Senator Pam Beidle, who represents the district.
To develop the approximately $15.5 million project, additional funding was found through the county’s Video Lottery Terminal Fund, revenue generated from Live! Casino, as recommended by the Local Development Council and the county’s Community Development Fund. The development also received a capital grant awarded through the state’s capital grant process last year.
“This building represents the commitment of our community stakeholders who have worked for years to bring quality programming for children, youth, and adults in Severn. It is great we can leverage local dollars with this State funding to make it happen,” said Delegate Mark Chang, who serves on the Local Development Council.
The Severn Intergenerational Center is one of Pittman’s key initiatives and is the result of partnerships with Severn area community stakeholders, Arundel Community Development Services (ACDS), the Department of Aging and Disabilities, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. ACDS is serving as the project developer.