Proposal for child development center chosen for library site

Site plan for the redevelopment of the library site from MBGCDC presentation

The county has chosen The Martha B. Gudelsky Child Development Center Inc. to redevelop the site of the former Silver Spring Library on Colesville Road, according to a Feb. 23 letter from David Dise, the county director of general services, shared with the Source.

The center will be operated by CentroNia, which runs similar facilities in Takoma Park and Columbia Heights and presented its plan as one of two finalists to the public in October, 2017.

As part of the decision, the county and Global LifeSci Development Corp. agreed that GLDC will provide Victory Housing, the other finalist, a pad for development of senior housing in the planned Viva White Oak complex.

GLDC is affiliated with Percontee, Inc., part of the Gudlesky Group, a real estate development firm founded by the Gudelsky family.

The library building would be preserved and renovated under this proposal. In addition, a courtyard and a two-story addition would be added to the back of the building, but would add less then five feet to the overall height.

The center will serve children from 0-5 years old in an intergenerational, mixed-income setting and expects to add about 50 full and part time jobs. They also will offer after-school activities, and the community space will be available for evening events.

The plan also conserves about 30 percent the green space on the site, not including the required children’s play space. It will be integrated with the existing park and add opportunities for outdoor learning about science and the environment.

In the meantime, GLDC has provided a letter of intent to Victory Housing, which will own and operate the housing. While Dise’s letter said the specific building site and number of units will be decided later, “The total number of units will not be less than that proposed by VH in its proposed reuse of the old Silver Spring Library site.”

VH’s plan proposed tearing down the old library and replacing it with 92 units that inlcuded a childcare component.

In its presentation, CentroNia officials promised that the redevelopment would by fully funded by the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc. In addition, the foundation will fund part of the programming (with grants and parents fees also contributing), as well as any needed subsidies to meet the center’s commitment to provide of 15 affordable senior housing units off site.

Mike Diegel

Co-Founder/Editor at Source of the Spring
Mike Diegel, a founding member of Source of the Spring, is a Silver Spring advocate who has been appointed by the county executive to several committees and task forces. He currently is a member of the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee. His background is in journalism and he earned a bachelor of arts in communications from McDaniel College. He is self-employed as a communications consultant and is an active volunteer with Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue. He has lived for more than 20 years in Northwood/Four Corners with his wife Trish and multiple Great Pyrenees dogs. He is better known around Silver Spring as the Guy with the Big White Dogs.
Proposal for child development center chosen for library site