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HCC seeks $60 million for projects

November 18, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN- Funding capital projects was a hot topic Friday afternoon when Hagerstown Community College's Board of Trustees met with the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.

HCC President Guy Altieri presented the delegation with an overview of the college's enrollment growth and new programs. Total for-credit enrollment this year is 5,248, up 4.3 percent from last year, according to statistics released by HCC. Noncredit enrollment is 9,944, 14.4 percent more than last year.

HCC has planned almost $60 million in capital improvement projects, said Anna Barker, vice president of administration and finance.

The county is supposed to provide 60 percent of the funding for capital improvement projects, and the state is supposed to provide the rest, according to the accepted formula used by the General Assembly, Altieri said.

Among the proposed capital improvements are an arts and science complex, an addition to the College Student Center, and a second campus entrance plus road upgrades, according to documents provided by HCC.

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Altieri asked the delegation to ensure that state funds are available for the capital improvement projects, and reminded the delegation that more than half of Maryland's undergraduate students attend community colleges.

The board and delegation also discussed Cade funding, which distributes state aid to community colleges at the rate of about 25 percent of the state funding provided to the University System of Maryland.

Altieri said that state dollars are budgeted for the university system based on full-time enrollment calculations, which include out-of-state students. Community colleges, however, are not permitted to count out-of-state students in their enrollment calculations. HCC's budget suffers because of its proximity to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, he said.

Altieri told the delegation that HCC offers more "bang for the buck" than other educational institutions. Classes are taught every day of the week, with classes in session every day except for 10 days a year, he said.

HCC's adult education programs, which the college took over from the school board a few years ago, also are seeing enrollment growth, according to statistics released by HCC.

More than 700 students enrolled this year in HCC's adult education program, which includes English as a second language classes. State Sen. Don Munson, R-Washington called it "incredible growth." Funding has not kept pace with the growth, Altieri said.

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