Government Center to go up for sale
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 11:19

photo by Roland Dorsey

Government Center to  go up for sale; police moving to Eastwood; other offices unknown

by Ben Boehl

    On Tuesday morning, Baltimore County announced that the North Point Government is one of three county sites to be placed on the open market. The county said the proceeds from the sales are sufficient to cover the costs of updating facilities while still garnering a profit to the county.
    The county also announced that the North Point Police Precinct will move from the government center to what is now Eastwood Magnet Elementary School, located on Westham Way off Eastern Avenue.    
    That school will close and the magnet program will be relocated to Holabird Middle and Norwood Elementary schools [see story on page 1].
    “If this sale is successfully completed, in effect, we will be able to air condition two additional schools in the southeast as a result of the sale of the North Point Center,” Kamenetz said in a written statement. 
    “I am very pleased that we will be able to improve the instructional climate for students and teachers in the area.”
    The government center was originally North Point Junior High School and opened in 1953.
     The North Point Police Precinct move to the Eastwood school will be announced within months of approval of the sale by the County Council. 
    “Anyone who has visited the North Point Police Precinct knows that this is very exciting news for the police officers who work in Dundalk,” said County Police Chief Jim Johnson. “I look forward to the first roll call at the new facility.”
    Bob Nozeika, who just retook over as president of the Eastwood Community Civic Association after the passing of new president Mack McCluskey, said he supports the Precinct 12 move to Eastwood. He added that the closing of the original Eastwood Elementary School has left a lot of uncertainty for the community over the decades and  doesn’t believe the magnet school will be missed in the community as he estimated that 20 percent of the population from the Eastwood area attends the school.
    Nozeika said that the building had a long history, as it had been used as an alternative school for high school students before becoming a magnet school. With rumors that the school was probably set to close again.  Nozeika is relieved that it will become a police station and won’t turn back into an alternative school or a rehabilitation center.
    “I live on Bridgewood [Drive] by North Point Road, but to me a police station would scare criminals from coming into Eastwood,” Nozeika said. “Although I don’t know how it will affect people on Westham Way and people by the school.”
    The sale of the building will also force the councilmanic district office to relocate. Councilman John Olszewski Sr. was unavailable for comment, but aide Doris Kuhar said it is unknown where the 7th District Councilmanic office will move.
    “We didn’t know anything until the last couple of days,” Kuhar said. “I think they were keeping it quiet until they announce it to the kids about the school.”
    In addition to the police station and county offices, many other organizations and athletic fields are at the government center. Among them are the Dundalk-Eastfield Recreation Council. 
    According to a press release from the county, the Dundalk-Eastfield programs held at the government center and recreation programs held at Eastwood will be moved to nearby schools or community centers.
    According to the county, some of the outdoor fields are part of Grange Elementary School and won’t be affected by the sale.
    However; the future of the fields directly by the government center site is unknown. Officials say the county wants an agreement in which the buyers of the land must keep the fields intact and under the operation of Baltimore County’s Department of Recreation and Parks or else provide comparable field space in the community that would  also be under the operation of Baltimore County’s Department of Rec. and Parks.
    “In today’s world, effective management of resources is a necessity,” said Barry Williams, Director of Rec. and Parks. 
    “I want to assure the entire recreation and parks community that my staff will work hand-in-hand with them to relocate programs that are currently housed at both North Point and Eastwood Magnet Elementary School. There is no doubt that we will be able to accommodate each and every program, and we won’t miss a beat.”
    It is unclear what will happen to the private institutions operating at the government center and if they will have to find a new location.
    John Ayers, president of New Norwood Holabird Community Association [NCHA], said he was aware of the situation with the government center and the two NHCA-area schools, but had no comment until he spoke with his NHCA board members.
    Eastfield-Stanbrook Civic Association president Karen Cruz was unavailable for comment.
    The government center is located in the subdivision of Eastfield and at the corner of Holabird and Wise avenues and Merritt Boulevard.