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HCC renovation a 'surreal' change

October 20, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

Administrators, faculty and community leaders gathered Tuesday at Hagerstown Community College to dedicate the newly renovated Administration and Student Affairs Building. The facility combines several offices under the same roof for the first time in more than 20 years, said HCC President Guy Altieri.

"It adds to the efficiency of working with students and it gives them one-stop shopping. Students won't get lost making their way across campus to find the financial aid office," he said.

Originally built in 1966, the building is in the heart of campus. The 23,697-square-foot building was expanded from 16,750 square feet - a facelift that left many alumni speechless.

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"It was like a surreal moment when I walked through the door of this new building," said Jill Dennison, a 1982 graduate who now works with the college's Job Training Institute, also in the remodeled facility.

"It was hard to believe," she said.

The building now includes a welcome center at the entrance with admissions, registration, financial aid and finance offices a few feet away. Large department signs hang in clear view and new computer stations, at which students can register online, sit on both sides of the lobby.

"It's a great service available for students, and it frees up time for our academic advisers," said 18-year-old Anna Nisewarner. The student government vice president was one of several student tour guides on hand for the crowd of about 100 people attending the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

HCC Board of Trustees Chairman Merle Elliott said the renovation is one of several campus improvements students can expect.

"HCC is a living organization that builds on its past," Elliott said to the audience.

The total renovation project cost just more than $2.5 million. Of that, $1.3 million came from the state, $900,000 from Washington County and $350,000 from HCC.

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