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HCC makes long-term plans

April 26, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

During the next decade Hagerstown Community College's campus could be transformed into a pedestrian mall and a $7 million instructional building could be built.

HCC President Norman Shea gave Board of Trustees members a brief rundown on Tuesday afternoon of a long-term facilities plan the community college expects to submit to the Maryland Higher Education Commission this fall.

The plan calls for building a road around the east side of the campus to connect with an existing two-lane road that loops around the rest of the campus, Shea said. The proposed road would go behind campus buildings.

That would move vehicular traffic, except emergency vehicles, around the main campus, Shea said.

The road that now connects the loop road on the east side cuts through the main campus, separating the Career Programs Building from the Administrative Building, the new Learning Resource Center and the future student center. That road would become part of a pedestrian mall in the center of campus.

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Since the Learning Resource Center opened with classrooms and the library, more students are congregating there and that will increase after the neighboring building is converted into the new student center, Shea said.

The proposal also calls for a new two-story building between the Kepler Theater and the old library building to house the nursing and radiography programs, Shea said.

Those medical programs are now in the Career Programs Building along with continuing education.

Moving the health programs would give the rapidly growing continuing education program room to expand, Shea said.

Registration for continuing education classes has grown from 7,009 students during the 1995-96 school year to 12,804 students during the 1998-99 school year, according to the college.

Shea doesn't have a cost estimate for the road or the new building, but said the building would compare to the Learning Resource Center, which cost $7 million.

Board members approved on Tuesday the purchase of 9.3 acres on the east side of the campus to act as a buffer between the planned road expansion and nearby residences. The narrow strip of land was bought for $93,000 from Louise F. Beachley.

Board member James Latimer said he thought the long-range facilities proposal was great and forward-thinking.

The proposal must be submitted to the higher education commission for planning purposes since the college goes through the commission for bond funding, Shea said.

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