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October 29, 2023

VFW looks ahead to construction of its new home in Frederick

Credit: The Frederick News-Post

Supporters of a planned new Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Frederick gathered at the site on Saturday to celebrate the project, which is expected to take another year.

The new building for John R. Webb VFW Post 3285 is planned for 5951 Old National Pike, adjacent to the current VFW building.

Saturday’s groundbreaking ceremony included several VFW officials, U.S. Rep. David Trone, and local elected officials.

Patrick Pierson, the chair of the post’s new building committee, said the post expects to seek have a design completed and find a contractor in November, then seek permits from the city in December.

Construction would start in March 2024 and be finished in September.

The project is expected to cost about $3 million.

The post is putting up $1 million and will get $500,000 in state funding. Another $1 million is seen as likely through federal funding.

The new building will have 6,000 square feet on the first floor and a 3,000-square-foot basement, Pierson said.

He said there will be space for offices, including one for a service officer. There also will be a kitchen, a back deck and open space that will include a memorial garden, he said.

Danny Rodriguez, a senior vice commander for the post, said he has become accredited as a service officer and will be stationed in the new building.

A service officer helps connect veterans to benefits and resources, including in areas such as disability rating, education and home loans.

Rodriguez said there are more than 16,000 veterans in Frederick County, so it will be useful to have a service officer stationed at the new VFW building.

The VFW post currently uses a building at 5901 Old National Pike.

The VFW post sold the property in 2017 to West Park Village, a developer, as part of a $2.7 million sale of its golf course, The Frederick News-Post has reported.

The developer sold the property in 2022 to the Asian American Center of Frederick for $1.75 million, property records show.

The VFW is renting the space from the Asian American Center. Pierson said the lease runs through September 2024.

Trone said his father, a World War II veteran, was a VFW post commander in Pennsylvania. The post was a place where veterans could spend time with others who understand their plight.

The VFW represents “the voice of the average veteran,” said Ryan Gallucci, the executive director of the VFW office in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Michael O’Connor said the new post building “is a community’s way of saying ‘thank you.’”