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Governor to visit campus sites

August 27, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening will tour the two sites being considered for a University System of Maryland, Hagerstown center, on Sept. 14 and 15.

"He will probably get lobbied a lot on both sides," Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook predicted.

"I expect that too," Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said. "He needs to experience firsthand the location and go form an educated opinion."

Bruchey said he will accompany Glendening during the visit and city administrators will make a presentation, pointing out the benefits of the downtown Hagerstown site.

The presentation will be essentially the same as the one made at the June 16 meeting of the steering committee, Bruchey said. At that meeting, the panel reaffirmed its endorsement of the Allegheny Power site near Interstate 70.

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Robert Sweeney, campus project director, will lobby on the county's behalf, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said. The county is paying one-third of Sweeney's salary.

Glendening has heard about the strengths and weaknesses of the two sites but wants to check them out, said Glendening spokesman Michael E. Morrill.

Glendening's visit has been expected since a committee of state administrators started comparing the Allegheny Power site, which the county and University System prefer, to the city-offered Baldwin House Complex in downtown Hagerstown, Sweeney said.

Before he visits, Glendening wants to hear at least a summary of the state committee's findings, Morrill said.

The committee, which includes state Planning Director Ronald Kreitner, will look at a variety of factors, including accessibility, security, traffic levels and construction costs. Kreitner has said he would not be surprised if the governor suggests the campus be built downtown.

Supporters of the downtown site say it fits the governor's Smart Growth initiative, which encourages downtown revitalization. Those who favor the technology park site say it is consistent with the Smart Growth initiative.

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