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Regents approve campus plan

July 09, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents Friday approved a fiscal 2001 capital program that includes a $13.4 million plan for the University of Maryland System center in Washington County.

"Outstanding," Washington County Commissioners Vice President Paul L. Swartz said about the decision.

"It is just terrific that everyone recognizes the importance of the University of Maryland System and the effect if will have on the entire region," he said.

Approval of the program does not mean it will be funded. That decision is up to the Maryland General Assembly and other funding sources. The Board of Regents Finance Committee decided by consensus June 17 to recommend the board approve the plan.

The plan calls for the single-building campus to be built at Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park on 20 acres donated by Allegheny Power.

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The request calls for $9.945 million in construction money in fiscal 2001 and $1.5 million for the purchase of an adjacent 20-acre parcel. The fiscal year begins July 1.

The program request also calls for $1.2 million for equipment expenses in fiscal 2002.

The other $795,000 will come from the Washington County Commissioners, the Maryland General Assembly and private donations.

The campus is modeled after the Shady Grove Center in Rockville, Md. The center's first building cost $9.7 million.

In a discussion with the County Commissioners on Thursday, one state lawmaker suggested the county might have to put in a larger share.

The state paid $4 million of the cost of the first building while Montgomery County, Md., contributed $2.2 million, local businesses chipped in $1.3 million and the rest of the expenses were paid by University College, Shady Grove officials say.

At the meeting with the commissioners, Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington asked why Washington County is not contributing more money.

"We do live in the provinces, but we do consider $800,000 substantial," replied Commissioner John L. Schnebly.

- Staff Writer Laura Ernde contributed to this story.

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