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Shepherd hopeful to getting funds for branch campus

May 04, 2001

Shepherd hopeful to getting funds for branch campus



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Officials at Shepherd College are cautiously confident they will receive $200,000 from the West Virginia Legislature to help move the community and technical college to the vacant Blue Ridge Outlet Center.

"I think there was a concern about the budget and what it would do," about a month ago, said Peter Checkovich, provost of the community college. "There's a little less of a concern now." He and other college officials spent considerable time seeking the money in Charleston, W.Va., at the just-concluded legislative session.

Shepherd College was counting on the $200,000 from the Legislature to defray start-up costs to move the community and technical college from Shepherdstown, W.Va., to Martinsburg. Del. Vicki Douglas, D-Berkeley, said she is always cautious about predicting budget items. She said the $200,000 should be in the budget digest.

"Three-quarters of that money is spent for education, whether higher or lower," Douglas said. "It looks firm, but I'm also aware that anything can appear or disappear."

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The college already has received $92,000 from the City of Martinsburg and $100,000 from the Governor's Office. That money is paying for the start of the transition, said Shepherd College President David Dunlop.

The college expects to have an architect's plans next week for renovating part of the Berkeley Building at the former outlet mall. The college then can go out to bid for the work, he said.

"I'm confident the money is there," Dunlop said of the legislative funding. "Nobody has said to me 'it's not there and you're not going to get it.'"

The community college already has one computer class operating Monday through Saturday in the Berkeley Building. If plans proceed, the college should open for more classes in August, Checkovich said.

Officials expect to know about the $200,000 in June.

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