HCC's renovated Kepler Theater not open yet

January 17, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Hagerstown Community College Drama teacher Joe Marshner tells students that their scheduled classes will not be held in the new Kepler building as planned on Tuesday afternoon. Opening day for classes in the new building was supposed to be Tuesday afternoon.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

The newly renovated Performing & Visual Arts Education Center/Kepler Theater at Hagerstown Community College was expected to open to students Tuesday, but that didn’t happen.

HCC spokeswoman Beth Stull said that the college was awaiting final occupancy approvals before the center can open.

“We were expecting that to occur (Tuesday),” she said. “We are trying our hardest to open as early as we can.”

Classes are being held in the Classroom Building until final approvals have been obtained, according to the HCC website,

“The students have been very patient with us,” Stull said. “We don’t want things to be inconvenient for them.”

The final occupancy approvals require Washington County and the state to provide the project’s contractor, Callas Contractors Inc., with a list of items that need to be completed before the building can be opened. The county and the state will then do a final inspection to make sure those items have been completed.

Stull said the college is still waiting for the list.

“We are pushing to make this happen,” she said. “We’re optimistic it’ll open this week.”

The $11.5 million in renovations on the building began in November, 2010, according to a Herald-Mail story published in December.

The delay in the opening of the Kepler Theater has also caused other delays on campus, according to Stull.

Renovations for the Classroom Building and Learning Center were supposed to begin soon, but they have also been delayed because students have to use the Classroom Building until the Kepler Building opens. The Classroom Building and Learning Center are scheduled to open in January 2013.

The new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM, building opened on Jan. 9.

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