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Regents' committee endorses campus

June 17, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents Finance Committee Wednesday recommended the full board approve a fiscal 2001 capital improvement program that includes a $13.4-million plan for a Washington County campus.

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The cost of the single-building campus on a donated 20-acre parcel at Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park is estimated at about $11.9 million.

The remaining $1.5 million is for the purchase of a second 20-acre parcel nearby at the technology park.

When it donated one parcel, Allegheny Power offered to sell the University System the 20-acre parcel and promised not to sell it to anyone else for five years, Washington County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

Capital Planning Director Mark W. Beck has suggested the University System acquire the second parcel for future expansion.

The Hagerstown campus is modeled after the Shady Grove Center, a University System campus in Rockville, Md. The center is a two-building campus on a 50-acre piece of property. As with most system campuses, the Shady Grove Center does not have a stadium, dormitory, restaurant or bookstore.

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Shoop said he was excited about the committee's recommendation to include the second parcel as part of the campus plan.

"They are planning for the future. If there is any growth there they are going to need this," said Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook.

Acceptance of a project into the program does not mean it will be funded. That decision is up to the Maryland General Assembly and other funding sources.

The Finance Committee's recommendation came the morning after the campus location was reaffirmed by a Washington County steering committee. The committee on Wednesday rejected a City of Hagerstown offer of the Baldwin House Complex at 32-46 W. Washington St. and decided to continue with plans to put it at the Allegheny Power site.

The Finance Committee, meeting in Baltimore, discussed the $208 million Capital Improvement Program but no specific comments were made about the Hagerstown campus, a system spokesman said.

No formal vote was taken because the group did not have a quorum, but the Finance Committee is urging the full board to adopt the program at its July 9 meeting in College Park, the spokesman said.

About $795,000 has been allocated to the campus so far, according to documents in the committee's agenda packet. That money will be used for planning. including a design contract.

The request from System Capital Planning Director Mark Beck calls for $1.5 million in acquisition money and $9.945 million in construction money in fiscal 2001. The fiscal year begins July 1.

It also calls for $1.2 million for equipment expenses in fiscal 2002.

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