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County, U.M. officials to compare campus sites

August 13, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Washington County and University System of Maryland administrators met Friday to discuss gathering information for a detailed comparison of the two Washington County campus sites requested by Maryland Planning Director Ronald Kreitner.

System Capital Planner Mark Beck hopes to complete and submit the comparison within three weeks, said Robert P. Sweeney, campus project director.

The report will include comparisons of the accessibility, security, traffic levels and construction costs of Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park vs. the Baldwin House Complex in downtown Hagerstown.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said there should not be much focus on a security comparison because the technology park now has only one business, Allegheny Power.

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"That's probably not a fair thing to evaluate," he said.

Kreitner is on a committee of state administrators examining some planned state projects and reporting their findings to Gov. Parris N. Glendening. It is not unusual for the committee to request this type of a report for a project, Kreitner said.

Sweeney said he will work with Public Works Director Gary Rohrer and Planning Director Robert Arch to give Beck the information he needs.

Sweeney said it's impossible to say whether preparation of the study will cause more of a delay than the six-month minimum previously expected. The single-building campus was scheduled to open in fall 2002 on 20 acres donated by Allegheny Power.

If the sites are switched that will result in at least a one-year delay, he said.

Since February the county and the University System have been proceeding with plans, and raising almost $1 million in county, state and private money, to put the $13.4 million campus at the Allegheny Power site.

A Washington County Steering Committee endorsed the Allegheny Power site on Feb. 1 and again on June 16.

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