Youth for a Prince Frederick Community Center
Prince Frederick, MD – With the knowledge that Calvert County Government’s proposed capital improvements plan (CIP) currently contains no line item for addressing recreational needs in Prince Frederick, a group of citizens is planning to push their proposal to add a community center.

“We need to put the pressure on,” said Guffrie Smith of Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth Inc. (CCCY).

The group held its second meeting regarding the need for a community center in the central area of the county Tuesday evening, Oct. 14. Attendees included representatives from Girl Scouts of America. Also attending were Calvert County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Administration Anthony Navarro and Board of Education Member Dawn C. Balinski.

Youth for Prince Frederick Community CenterThe effort to establish a community facility within the Prince Frederick Town Center received some encouraging news when Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) announced plans to close its district office on Dares Beach Road. While Smith and others were initially excited by the possibility the county government might be able to lease the building for use as a public activities center, CCCY member Robert Poling said he spoke with a SMECO Board of Directors member. The SMECO board member indicated the electric cooperative would likely sell the building to the highest bidder.

“A lot of people are interested in getting that building,” Smith conceded.

Poling observed that county government “has tapped itself out” in terms of bonded capital projects with work being done on an extremely costly ($21 million) communications system. Additionally, the county commissioners have already used funds comprised of gambling tax revenues administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to establish a new park in Dunkirk. Poling said any decisions on the upcoming fiscal year’s CIP would likely be made by the current board of county commissioners.

The CCCY have launched the effort to establish a community center Prince Frederick, citing the location of two Title One schools in the area—Calvert Elementary and Barstow Elementary—plus low-income housing. The representatives from the town’s Girl Scout troops pointed out their programs have almost no options for a meeting place.

“The county needs this,” said CCCY founder Marie Andrews.

“We need to get the youth to testify,” said Smith, who vowed to meet with local, state and federal officials about the need for a community center.

Petitions to be circulated are likely to be presented at a candidates’ forum in late October.

A Facebook page, “Youth for Prince Frederick Community Center,” was started back in late August.

The group’s next meeting was tentatively scheduled for November 18.

Contact Marty Madden at