October 17, 2017 – (Hanover, Md. October 17, 2017) — Describing the planned conversion of Kuhn Hall into an Education and Resiliency Center as a game-changing improvement for the Fort Meade community, the Anne Arundel County Local Development Council (LDC) has pledged $500,000 towards the project.
“The Fort Meade Alliance demonstrated a compelling need for this facility,” said Karen McJunkin, Chair of the LDC. “We are a community of service men and women in the Fort Meade area. The number of veterans, service people and others who need resources to help in various aspects of their lives is overwhelming. The Fort Meade Alliance’s efforts to have a one-stop shop for those services is a game changer.”
The LDC is an advisory body to Anne Arundel County. It recommends which projects should receive local impact grants, funded by video lottery proceeds.
Competition for those grants is extensive. The Fort Meade Alliance Foundation, however, showed the planned Resiliency and Education Center would have an impressive “breadth and depth” of positive impacts on the region, McJunkin said. The FMA and FMA Foundation boards, she added, are “filled with experienced and very smart people,” and the organization garnered vigorous support from state and county officials for the Kuhn Hall project.
Senator James (Ed) DeGrange Sr. and Delegate Pamela Beidle, both representing District 32 in Anne Arundel County, “were some of our loudest advocates,” said Deon Viergutz, President of the FMA Foundation. “I don’t think we would be anywhere near where we are with the capital campaign if it wasn’t for their leadership and support.”
“The Fort Meade Alliance has earned a lot of respect in the community because of the good work it does day in and day out,” Sen. DeGrange said. The Resiliency and Education Center project “is a very fine example of that work.”
Board members have been “very astute and very organized” in executing the Ready, Strong and Connected capital campaign to fund the construction of the Resiliency and Education Center, Del. Beidle said. “You always look to see if a board is really invested in a project and they really are. They have committed a lot of their own time and their own funds to this project.
One hundred percent of FMA and Foundation board members have pledged to the Ready, Strong and Connected campaign.
Other state and county officials – including Anne Arundel County Executive Steven Schuh and Councilmember Peter Smith – have also been vigorous supporters of the Education and Resiliency Center project, Viergutz said.
“For a guy who has spent his entire adult life in the military, I think the benefits of this center are going to be substantial,” Smith said.
The center, he said, will aid service men and women, military families and veterans. It will support the missions of Fort Meade commands and agencies, and support an installation that has become a major economic engine for Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland.
“The Fort Meade Alliance’s dedication to this project shows appreciation for work and people of Fort Meade,” Smith said. “This is what being a good community partner looks like and I want to make our partnership with the Fort Meade Alliance even stronger.”
To date, the FMA Foundation has raised 45 percent of the $3.6 million dollars needed to transform Kuhn Hall into the Education and Resiliency Center. FMA volunteers recently launched the design phase of the renovation project and aim to begin construction by summer 2018.