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Director says three schools plan to offer classes at campus

May 22, 2004|By TARA REILLY

At least three schools may offer classes at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown when it opens in January 2005, the facility's executive director said Friday.

About 500 to 600 students are expected to begin classes on Jan. 26, 2005, David Warner said.

Warner and JoEllen Barnhart, assistant director at the Hagerstown center, gave an update Friday to the board of directors of the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families.

A fourth college, Towson University, also may be interested in offering classes at the Hagerstown center, Warner said.

Frostburg State University will be the lead institution at the Hagerstown center, and the University of Maryland University College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore also are planning to offer classes, Warner said.

Warner said he hopes to have six to eight schools on board at the Hagerstown center by August 2005 and that several schools have expressed interest.

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Thirteen schools make up the University System of Maryland.

While all of those schools have endured budget cuts this year, Hagers-town center officials are "working on ways to entice them to come," Warner said.

The former Baldwin House complex in downtown Hagerstown is being renovated to house the 77,000-square-foot center.

The $16.6 million construction and renovation project is scheduled to be completed on Nov. 16.

A $4.4 million park will be behind the center and contain a stage area for concerts, Warner said.

The state agreed to give the center $1 million in startup costs to have the facility running by January.

"It's going to be absolutely spectacular," Warner said.

Classes will be offered at night to start, but Warner said a goal of his is to eventually offer daytime classes.

Earlier this year, Warner said he wants to develop paths to show high school students what courses they need to take to go to from high school to Hagerstown Community College or Frederick Community College, then to the Hagerstown center to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees.

Warner, who became the Hagerstown center's executive director in March, had worked for HCC for 21 years.

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