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Gov. gives $697,000 for campus

January 25, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening's proposed $1.26 billion construction budget includes $697,000 to design the University System of Maryland's Hagerstown Education Center.

"It's a good first step," said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington. "I still disagree with the location, but the planning money and the opportunity to do it right is important."

The center is to open in the Baldwin House complex in downtown Hagerstown in 2003.

Glendening chose the site in November, over the objections of university and local elected officials who preferred sites near Hagerstown Community College and off Interstate 70.

In future years, the state plans to spend $10.5 million on construction and $1.2 million on equipment.

"I'd like to see him put more money in for the construction, but we'll see," said Commissioner Paul L. Swartz.

Swartz and Munson believe that the work will cost more than estimated.

The university is one of a dozen construction projects totaling $16.1 million Glendening is proposing for Washington County in his 2001 capital budget, said his spokesman, Michael Morrill.

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The biggest-ticket item is a new juvenile detention center.

Glendening has set aside $7 million in the state's 2001 budget to build a 24-bed center near the state prison complex south of Hagerstown.

The budget also includes several anticipated school projects.

Glendening has earmarked $4 million toward the ongoing South Hagerstown High renovations, $211,000 for a chilling and cooling tower at Springfield Middle School and $80,000 for Internet wiring projects at Boonsboro Elementary and Eastern Elementary.

The budget also includes:

* A 10-mile extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

The current 10.3-mile trail runs parallel to the C&O Canal Towpath between Big Pool and Hancock. The trail is to be extended west from Hancock at a cost of $849,000.

* Hancock Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades, $797,062.

* Greenbrier State Park improvements, $555,000.

* Upgrades to the Conococheague Wastewater Treatment Plant to meet state biological nutrient-removal standards, $536,648.

* A new heating and air-conditioning system for the Western Maryland Center in Hagerstown, $443,000.

* Boonsboro water distribution system upgrades, $356,850.

* Halfway sewer pipe replacement, $300,000.

* Improvements to the Hancock water system, $200,000.

Glendening's budget now goes to the Maryland General Assembly for approval.

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