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Spring enrollment at W.Va. college likely to exceed 2,000

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg continues to grow

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg continues to grow

February 08, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- Spring semester enrollment at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg is projected to exceed 2,000 students, President Peter G. Checkovich said this week.

"It actually exceeded our goal - by a couple hundred," Checkovich said after presenting an enrollment report Wednesday to the college's board of governors.

Final fall enrollment was 2,195 students, which was 58 percent higher than 2005, according to the school's institutional research posted on its Web site.

The college hopes to increase its head count to 3,000 students by 2010, according to the school's current strategic plan for fiscal years 2006 to 2010.

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Checkovich said efforts to build more space for the college's burgeoning programs continues, and hopes state lawmakers could help with school's infrastructure needs.

The school currently leases its primary classroom space on the first floor of the Berkeley County office building at 400 W. Stephen St., which Checkovich previously has said is tight.

College officials have identified land near City Hospital and Interstate 81 on the edge of Martinsburg's municipal boundary as a potential site for a campus, and state lawmakers last year allocated $3 million to purchase land. But a separate bill to allow a certain amount of bonds be issued for capital improvement projects at CTCs and four-year colleges statewide did not pass.

"It came very close to making it through," Del. Walter Duke said Friday.

A member of the House Education Committee, Duke said he had not heard of any potential roadblocks for the bond issue legislation for the Higher Education Policy Commission so far this year, but added he had not yet seen the bill.

In June 2007, Blue Ridge CTC gave itself the authority to develop a contract to purchase property near the hospital after the Berkeley County Commission a few months earlier purchased the former Martin's Food Market plaza off South Raleigh Street for $3.15 million.

More information about Blue Ridge Community and Technical College can be found at www.blueridgectc.edu.

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