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Hecht says university system project looks secure

March 28, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - With the Maryland House of Delegates poised to pare the state's capital budget, Hagerstown's university project looks secure, Del. Sue Hecht said Wednesday.

Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, serves on the subcommittee that will decide as soon as Friday what to carve out of the capital budget.

"I'm feeling really confident. We're continuing to watch it in these last very confusing days," she said.

The House cuts represent the biggest thing standing in the way of the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center.

The $12.4 million project has survived several rounds of cuts in the Senate, which gave tentative approval Wednesday to its version of the $720 million capital budget.

If it wins approval this legislative session, the bulk of the renovation work on the Baldwin House complex will begin in July. The first classes would be held in January 2004.

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Meanwhile, the University is moving forward with the project, using $870,000 in this year's budget to shore up the deteriorating complex and remove hazardous materials, said Mark Beck, director of capital planning for the university.

Contractors' price proposals for the work are due today, he said.

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