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University System of Maryland at Hagerstown's board meets

November 12, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - During the first meeting of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown's Board of Advisors on Thursday, less than three months before classes are to begin, the university system's chancellor said the way the local community rallied around the project is one of the most inspiring things he has seen.

Many of the people on the 17-member advisory board have been involved in promoting the project for several years, Chancellor William Kirwan said at the meeting in Frostburg State University's community room.

"The people around this table are not new faces. You have been here," Kirwan said. "This is a very important moment: The creation of this advisory board."

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With 71 classes scheduled for the education center's first session, which is to start in late January, work on the building is "99 percent done," said David Warner, executive director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

Work that remains to be done includes moving in all office and classroom furniture and computers, Warner said.

James Pierne, president of Farmers & Merchants Bank and Trust, was named advisory board chairman and John League, publisher of The Herald-Mail newspapers, was named vice chairman, Warner said.

Other board members include Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner, Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, Sen. Donald Munson, R-Washington and Del. John Donoghue, D-Hagerstown.

Warner told the board his goal is to have 350 students enrolled when classes start. After that, he said his goal is to have 500 students enrolled by the fall of 2005, 600 students by the fall of 2006, 700 students by the fall of 2007 and 800 students by the fall of 2008.

Warner said he had hoped to have four schools offering classes when the education center opens, but it looks like there will be three: Frostburg State University, the University of Maryland University College of Adelphi, Md. and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Of the 71 courses scheduled for the first session, 65 are being offered by Frostburg, four by the University of Maryland University College and two by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Associate Director JoEllen Barnhart said.

The school is in discussions with those schools and with the University of Baltimore, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Maryland, Baltimore about offering additional programs in the future, she said.

During a tour of the education center, board members praised the renovation work at what once was the Baldwin House on West Washington Street.

"They did a beautiful job. It may be setting the standard for Hagerstown," Breichner said.

"I think it looks great," Snook said.

"I think this is a dream come true, not only for me but the whole community," Munson said.

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