Group thanks governor for looking at HCC site

November 11, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

A Hagerstown Community College employee group has sent Gov. Parris N. Glendening a letter thanking him for considering putting the university center at HCC, but a neighborhood group has sent a letter opposing the idea.

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Glendening announced last week he is considering building the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Center at HCC and will make a decision soon.

Michael Morrill, a Glendening spokesman, has said that while letters will affect the governor's decision, more weight will be placed on facts about the site's cost, impact and long-term viability.

Members of the Washington County Higher Education Association, a 3-year-old group representing 57 of 59 full-time community college faculty members, said in a letter dated Wednesday they are "elated" he is considering the site.


The group sent Glendening a letter Sept. 7 asking him to visit and consider the site.

But on Sept. 15 Glendening only visited the two sites he was considering at that point: Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park off Interstate 70 and the Baldwin House complex in downtown Hagerstown.

"We are thoroughly convinced that the most logical and efficient location for the branch campus is on Robinwood Drive," group co-President Tom Clemens said in this week's letter.

Putting it next to HCC would provide for sharing of the childcare center, parking lots, the college bookstore, a new library and learning resource center and other facilities, he said.

The Robinwood Homeowners Alliance, which has at least 50 members, thinks putting the campus by the community college is a bad idea, said Alliance co-founder and spokesman Kurt Redenbo.

The group previously opposed HCC buying 116 acres next to the college with a $1.4 million loan from the Washington County Commissioners. The proposed site is on that property, which President Norman Shea said was purchased to serve as a buffer.

"The Alliance is angered, but not the least bit surprised, by this 11th hour proposal to build on the property which we refer to as the 100-Acre Woods," Redenbo says in the letter.

Some Robinwood Drive residents interviewed last week said they support the HCC site even though it will mean increased traffic.

Washington County's legislative delegation and four members of the steering committee last week switched their support from the Allegheny Power site to the HCC land, saying it better met Glendening's Smart Growth Initiative. Some had previously criticized the HCC site because of road and utility costs.

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