Baltimore Press

Schaefer Breaks Ground for BARC

Yesterday morning, execu­tives from Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens (BARC) and State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer heaved shovels in a ground breaking ceremony to mark the forthcoming construc­tion of BARC’s Employment Center in Seton Business Park.
Prior the ground breaking, BARC Vice-President Michael Young spoke to the small crowd, saying that the new cen­ter would “allow us to grow this program further.” Schaefer fol­lowed saying “Of the BARC services, I particularly like the landscaping,” he said. “If you are not closely related to the retarded—the disabled—you

don’t understand them. One has to learn.” He finished his speech by noting that BARC generated over $3 million in taxable wages. “I want you to keep making money, so I can collect the taxes,” he said to laughter and applause. Executive Director of BARC, Stephen Moigan, asserted that before Schaefer’s gover­norship, funding for BARC was slight and variable. “The Schaefer legacy was that funding was built into the budget, so that every year there was money for every child who graduated from special education.” BARC is a private non-profit agency which trains and places learning dis­abled adults into jobs ranging from landscaping to bulk mailing, to light industrial packaging. The agency also offers a wide range of housing options and transportation services to the individuals in their program. Other services include day care for children, and for adults with chronic health issues. The program, the largest of its kind in the countiy, offers livelihoods to mentally handi­capped individuals who otherwise might stagnate or disappear into the social services system once they become adults.

Among die 107 organizations which employ BARC crews are the Johns Hopkins Hospitals, Social Service Administration, Fort McHenry, and two local television stations, WJZ and WMAR.

On its 7.7 acres of land in Seton Business Park, BARC will build an 11,500 square-foot building for its new employment center, and will ren­ovate an old gymnasium on the prop­erty for administrative and storage usage. The land is under contract for over $200,000 for sale from Baltimore Development Corporation, which manages the city-owned busi­ness park.

The business park, formerly the grounds of The Seton Institute, a psy­chiatric hospital run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Established in 1860, the hospital closed in 1973 and the grounds were purchased by the city during Schaefer’s mayoralty, two decades ago.

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