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Campus at HCC site won't affect plans for Robinwood

November 09, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Building a university center at Hagerstown Community College won't affect Washington County's plans to widen Robinwood Drive, the county administrator said Tuesday.

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The number of students expected to attend the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Center in its first year is not high enough to justify speeding up plans to improve part of Robinwood Drive and reroute another stretch, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said during a meeting with the Washington County Commissioners.

His conclusions were based on a meeting Monday between University System and county engineers and planners.

The University System wanted to open the campus in the fall of 2002 with about 500 students attending the first year. That estimate was for a different campus site and a new time line has not been prepared.

Other future economic development projects on Robinwood and Edgewood drives would affect traffic more than would a university center, Shoop said, but would not elaborate. Edgewood Drive becomes Robinwood Drive at Mount Aetna Road.

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The county's six-year capital improvement program calls for widening Robinwood Drive from two to four lanes between Robinwood Medical Center and HCC in fiscal 2003, with developers paying the $2.77 million cost.

The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance requires developers to provide information showing adequate road, water, sewage and schools capacity before a project can be approved. The developers, which in this case would include the state or the University System of Maryland, must contribute toward any needed improvements.

The county's plans do not call for widening or rerouting Robinwood Drive between HCC and Md. 64 during the next six years. When the county eventually reroutes Robinwood Drive through the Woodbridge subdivision, it will cost about $5.8 million, a January 1999 report by Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

That work won't need to be done any earlier, Shoop said, but a new traffic analysis would be done if the campus were built next to HCC.

At some point a new intersection would be needed to replace the existing intersection at Dual Highway and Edgewood but the county has not identified when that would be built or the cost, Shoop said.

The site gaining support is on 116 acres HCC bought in April with a $1.4 million loan from the County Commissioners.

A steering committee, the University System and County Commissioners previously endorsed a site at Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park off Interstate 70.

Last week, Washington County's legislative delegation and some steering committee members switched their support to the HCC site. The commissioners have not taken a formal position on the site alternative.

Gov. Parris Glendening said he is considering the HCC site and will make a decision in December.

A third site being considered is the Baldwin House complex in downtown Hagerstown.

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