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Council backs requests for campus plan funds

August 28, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved resolutions supporting two applications for about $1.2 million in funds to pay for part of a $4.2 million open space plan at the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center.

As part of the plan, five buildings would be demolished and a park and a 153-space parking lot would be created, Hagerstown Senior Planner Kathleen Maher said.

The council supported the city application for $1.169 million from the state Community Legacy Program, a Smart Growth initiative created last year by the state.

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The council also voted to support a $25,000 application to the Appalachian Regional Commission for a grant to pay for a consultant to survey the area, design the elements included in the plan and prepare the construction drawings.

There was no discussion prior to the vote.

A public meeting on the applications last week drew six people.

Washington County business leaders first proposed the open space plan in 2000 to complement the University System's renovation of the Baldwin House complex on Washington Street.

Elected officials from the city, county and local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly have expressed support for the open space plan.

The City Council in May authorized applying for state money for the plan.

Last month the city applied for $300,000 in state funds for the project but the city has not heard whether it will get that money, Maher said.

The city will apply next year for state funds to pay for the remainder of the costs, she said.

Part of the project calls for purchasing and demolishing the former McCrory's building at 50-56 W. Washington St., next door to the education center and, later, putting a small park in its place, Maher said.

The land parcel is .43 of an acre, she said.

The state has budgeted $13.3 million for the education center. Classes are scheduled to start in January 2004, a University System spokesman has said.

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