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A Split Council Approves UMD’s DayCare At City’s Calvert Rd Site

A split Council voted 4-4 last night supporting UMD’s proposal to operate its daycare center at City’s Old Calvert Rd school site. Mayor broke the tie to support the proposal.

According to the plan, the UMD will lease the site from the City for free for 40 years. The Center will have 120 seats, however will allow only 12 seats to City residents, who are not affiliated with the university. UMD will use the Bright Horizons Childcare provider to run the day care center. The cost per child could be $1200 per month.

The property has been vacant for many years, and many residents in the surrounding Calvert Hill neighborhood support the proposal, hoping that the plan will eliminate an eyesore in the neighborhood.

Many other residents however questioned whether the long term lease would benefit the City and its residents. I too thought we should have looked seriously into other options for the property. Though there have been informal attempts to seek other public use in the past, no formal attempt have been pursued by the Council. Unfortunately, my amendment to seek a RFI (Request For Interest) did not succeed.

Many of the residents in my district also questioned the benefits of the proposal to the residents and the City.

I want to thank and congratulate those who came out last night and supported the plan. Though limited, I hope our residents can benefit from the facility after it is renovated and becomes operational.

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3 Comments to “A Split Council Approves UMD’s DayCare At City’s Calvert Rd Site”

  1. By John Rigg, March 29, 2017 @ 10:52 am

    Dr. Kabir —
    I just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful approach to this issue. Although I disagreed with your proposal to further stall the project while the City pursued an RFI, my disagreement was due to the timing and not because I thought it was a bad idea. I just wish we would have pursued that approach a LONG time ago before we were so far down the track on the now-approved proposal.

    For what it is worth, the proposal should absolutely stand on its own as a worthy one which will make a substantial positive contribution to our City. And that is something I hope we can all get behind.

    Thanks again for your time and leadership on Council. Even when we disagree, I very much appreciate your positive outlook, civility, attention to process, and willingness to consider other perspectives.

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, March 29, 2017 @ 11:14 pm

    Likewise. Thanks for coming out last night, staying late and speaking your mind. As a body, the Council could have completed the process fairly quickly. According to our attorney, we needed 45 days to get initial responses from interested partners and additional time to review the proposals. You’ve been involved intimately with the property for many years now and know very well that the UMD’s day care proposal goes back to as early as 2014, or even earlier. Please see here (page 64): https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/document_center/MayorCouncil/Agendas/2014Worksession/080614WS.pdf. It’s hard to believe they’d be walking out if we asked them to wait 2-3 more months.

  3. By John Rigg, March 30, 2017 @ 9:18 am

    As you pointed out, we have strung them along for a VERY long time. This is a worthy project, and is far FAR better than any other we have ever seen in nearly twenty years of working on this issue. Additional delays and a re-opening of the project, especially after the Council voted 7-1 to negotiate with UMD over this project, would have likely been seen as a sign that we were actually negotiating in bad faith. I’m nowhere near as confident as you are that they would not have walked away.

    Its a good project. A VERY good project. And, as a wiser man than myself once said, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.