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Collegefest 2000 displays HCC's high-tech addition

April 30, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

Laura Raikes invited her children Sunday to see the quiet place where she's been studying to become a radiographer.

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"This is mommy's new library," said Raikes, 27, of Hagerstown, walking into the new Learning Resource Center at Hagerstown Community College.

A single mother of three daughters, Raikes said she doesn't get much studying done at home. So she's especially thankful for the center, which opened in January.

"This is awesome. This is really nice. They needed something like this in Hagerstown, she said.

The 57,000-square-foot glass and brick building was the focal point of Collegefest 2000, an open house with music and special events geared toward children.

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The modern, high-tech building symbolizes everything the college strives to be, said President Norman Shea.

The center houses a new library as well as computer labs, classrooms, conference rooms and lecture halls.

It has 300 computers, connections for 662, and every room is wired for cable television.

Instructors have built-in computers in the front of their classrooms to access the Internet or carry out a slide show.

An estimated 5,000 people came to the afternoon event held under sunny skies, said college spokeswoman Patti Friend.

Charlotte Seibert, who works at Washington County Free Library, came to check out the state-of-the-art campus library.

"It's fabulous," she said while listening to South Hagerstown High School's small jazz band play.

Eleia Lam, 5, came running to her mother, library assistant Dorothy Lam of Hedgesville, W.Va.

"Mommy, I got my face painted!" the little girl shouted.

Some of the other kids' events were high-tech.

At one, children got their pictures taken with a digital camera and their faces were superimposed onto drawings of clowns, bodybuilders, superheroes or athletes.

Other events included a classic car show, crafts and a Civil War encampment. Entertainment was provided by fiddlers, jugglers and balloon-animal makers.

Children were fascinated by the creepy crawly things that Michael Shwedick brought to his reptile show at Kepler Theater.

One animal was a 26-year-old snapping turtle born at the edge of the Mississippi River. As a baby, the turtle would fit into a breakfast spoon. Eventually, it will grow to weigh as much as a human, he said.

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