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Campus chronology

June 17, 1999

A partial chronology of developments for the planned University System of Maryland, Hagerstown campus and a proposed timetable.

-- Dec. 15, 1998: Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook announces the University System wants to establish a one-building Washington County campus.

-- Jan. 21, 1999: The County Commissioners tour Shady Grove Center, a system campus on which the county campus is modeled. Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II expresses displeasure about not being invited.

Two county administrators tell the County Commissioners the best of four campus site offers is at Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park.

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-- Jan. 26: The County Commissioners vote to pay $25,000 to the University System of Maryland for a site-specific campus program plan.

-- Feb. 1: The Allegheny Power site is selected by a steering committee.

-- Feb. 2: Allegheny Power announces the company will donate the 20-acre parcel.

-- April 5: Gov. Parris Glendening approves a plan to give the county $150,000 to start planning the campus.

-- April 29: Wayne Alter, a Hagerstown businessman, pledges $100,000 to the college and challenges other businesses to do the same.

-- April 30: Ron Young, deputy director of the Maryland Office of Planning, writes a letter suggesting the campus site be in downtown Hagerstown to make it more consistent with the Smart Growth Act and a follow-up executive order issued by Governor Parris Glendening.

-- May 4: The County Commissioners adopt a budget that includes $500,000 in the fiscal 2000 Capital Improvement Program budget for the campus.

-- May 18: Hagerstown City Council decides in closed session to offer the Baldwin House Complex as a free site for the campus. Bruchey sends a letter announcing the offer to the governor. The offer is made public the following day.

The University System capital planner gives the County Commissioners a proposed timetable and tells them to seek about $10 million from the state in fiscal 2001 to pay for construction and $1.2 million in fiscal 2002 for equipment.

-- May 20: Bruchey and Former Mayor Steven Sager say they were prompted to make the city offer by the announcement that Frostburg State University Center would pare back operations at its downtown center.

Sager, a state employee, says he wrote most of the city proposal. He begins lobbying other state employees to support the project.

-- May 21: Snook says he will ask the steering committee to reconvene. Members, including Snook, Alter and Allegheny Power employees, are to compare the city's proposal to the Allegheny Power offer.

-- May 24: Alter questions whether the city is just trying to "unload a difficult, challenging piece of property onto the University System of Maryland" because it could limit the campus' potential.

-- June 1: The Washington County Commissioners vote to pay one-third of Robert Sweeney's $70,000 salary. Sweeney, former PenMar Development Corp. executive director, was hired a week earlier as campus project director.

-- June 3: Hagerstown Community College President Norman Shea and Hagerstown Business College President Christopher Motz say they prefer the Allegheny Power site.

-- June 8: System representatives tour the downtown site.

Hagerstown City Council members criticize Commissioner Paul L. Swartz for comments in a newspaper article. Swartz said his concerns about security at the downtown site are such that he wouldn't want his own adult children to attend classes there.

-- June 16: The steering committee again endorses the Allegheny Power site, rejecting the city's proposal.

-- June 17: Project scheduled to go before the System Board of Regents Finance Committee.

-- July 9: Project goes before the entire Board of Regents.

-- July: Design contract awarded.

-- January 2001: Building construction set to begin.

-- July 2002: Construction finished.

-- September 2002: Classes scheduled to start.

related story:

-- Baldwin House is rejected

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