Gail Murdock, chair of the Commission on Aging speaks at the closing in ceremony for the new Leonardtown Library and Garvey Senior Center. (Photo: The County Times)
HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Sept. 26, 2019)—After breaking ground in May of last year, and months of delays due to rainy weather, the combined, new Leonardtown Library and Garvey Senior Center facility's exterior is officially closed in.
There is still a significant amount of work to be done on the structure's interior and county officials say it should be open for operations by March of next year.
"This has been a long time coming," said County Commissioner President James "Randy" Guy, who said state planning projections showed that in St. Mary's County the senior population is expected to increase drastically by 245 percent.
"We have to get ready for things like that," Guy told the crowd assembled on the construction site.
Mary Lee Russell, the branch manager at the current Leonardtown Library said she and her staff were waiting anxiously to move into their new home.
"I feel like doing a dance," Russell said. "This building is more than we could hope for.
"I tell my staff we only have a few more months to go."
The full-service commercial kitchen has been installed at the new senior center portion of the facility as well as four new pickleball courts.
The relatively new sport has become very popular with senior citizens, public works officials have said.
The new senior center will offer a vast increase in program space over the current Garvey Senior Center at the county's governmental center, with exercise rooms and an art studio among the new amenities planned there.
The entire project has a budget of about $17 million and is just under 16,000 square-feet in size.
Gail Murdock, chairman of the county's Commission on Aging, called for a quick completion to the project to provide more resources for seniors.
"Let's get 'er done," Murdock said. "Let's get this thing built."
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