After yesterday's tour of the University of Maryland's Shady Grove Center, the Washington County Commissioners quickly affirmed that they want one of their own, and are willing to commit time and money to get it. We hope the business community is ready as well, because university officials made it clear that it won't happen without their help.
The Shady Grove Center, located near Gaithersburg just off I-270, was developed after the Montgomery County Technology Committee pushed for its location there. In a little more than 10 years, enrollment has grown from less than 300 undergraduate students to more than 11,000 students filling two buildings with a third structure on the drawing board.
University officials who led the commissioners' tour told them a number of things have to happen to bring UM's programs across South Mountain. The first is to choose a suitable site, with easy access for students. The commissioners have done that, settling on a 20-acre parcel in Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park. The campus would be visible from Interstate 70, across the road from Martin L. "Marty" Snook County Park.