House considering future of Crownsville Hospital site

| February 8, 2015 | 1 Comment
Delegate Tony McConkey

Delegate Tony McConkey

After the Crownsville Hospital Center has sat mostly abandoned for a decade, the House Environment and Transportation Committee held a hearing Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. on House Bill 27, establishing a task force to bring together state officials, county officials, and local residents to create a plan for the future of the Crownsville Hospital Center.

“Not only has the history of the Crownsville Hospital Center been eroding, but the infrastructure itself, 66 buildings in the heart of Anne Arundel County, has been unmaintained and decaying as well,” said Delegate Tony McConkey (R – Anne Arundel). “A plan to put these great resources to use for the citizens of Maryland is long overdue.” Del. McConkey is encouraging residents to attend the hearing this Thursday and present their views on the future of this Maryland landmark.

The Crownsville Hospital Center was a state-run mental hospital from 1911 to 2004. Since it closed, government and community groups alike have proposed turning the campus into anything from a college to a veterans’ home to a community center, as well as discussing ways to commemorate the hospital’s troubled past. But a decade later, the 66 historic brick buildings and 612 acres in the heart of Anne Arundel remain a ghost town except for a few buildings used by local non-profits. Even the cemetery that the state promised to preserve is unmaintained and inaccessible to the families of those buried there.

House Bill 27 establishes the Task Force on the Disposition of the Crownsville Hospital Center Property. The Task Force will create a viable plan for the future of the hospital property by bringing together representatives of the Governor, General Assembly, Anne Arundel County, the local community, and the Maryland Departments of the Environment, General Services, Health and Mental Hygiene, and Planning.

 “The state and the county have been making big promises for a decade, but everyone seems to be just talking past each other,” said Del. McConkey. “We need to bring together all the stakeholders and finally figure out how we can use this great historical resource to serve the community.”

Delegate Tony McConkey represents Maryland’s 33rd legislative district, including the Crownsville Hospital Center, and is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.

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