Rosewood Center Recommended For Closure, But No Time Soon
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 27, 2004
OWINGS MILLS, MARYLAND--In a report released Monday, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggested that, if a state-operated institutions is closed, it should be Rosewood Center.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the study concluded that the value of the land on which the institution sits makes Rosewood the most cost-effective of Maryland's four institutions housing people with developmental disabilities to close. The aging facility sits on 235 acres of land in this small town just outside of Baltimore.
Other factors that make it most attractive for closing are the fact that the Baltimore area would be best able to provide group homes for the 159 residents who would move into the community, along with employment opportunities for displaced workers. The remaining 50 residents are court-committed and are waiting to be placed in a facility at the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital that has not yet been built.
Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini submitted the report to Delegate Norman H. Conway and Senator Ulysses Currie, chairmen of the General Assembly's budget committees, which had asked the department to recommend one of four institutions to close to save the state money.
Senator Paula C. Hollinger, whose area includes Rosewood Center, said she does not expect any action on the subject during this legislative session.
In submitting the report, Sabatini recommended that none of the four institutions be closed in the immediate future. The cost for closure is too high for the state's current fiscal situation, he explained, and "you don't start saving money until the last resident is gone, and the land is disposed of."
Rosewood Center opened in 1888 as the Asylum and Training School for the Feeble Minded. It currently houses more than one-half of the 404 people with developmental disabilities in Maryland's four institutions. The state provides residential services in the community for more than 7,000 people.
Six institutions have closed down in the past 20 years. Community living advocates have been pushing for years to close down all of the state's institutions.
"Why are we not proceeding?" asked Cristine Marchand, executive director of the Arc of Maryland. "We are so far behind already."
"Report supports closing center" (Baltimore Sun)