Funds Sought To Fix Up Campus Theater Only New Project In Hcc Budget

November 04, 1990|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

Howard Community College will ask the county government for $3.9 million to cover construction projects in 1991-1992, a capital budget request in which renovation of the campus theater is the only new project.

Community College president Dwight A. Burrill described the 1991-1992 capital budget -- part of a five-year, $14.9 million construction program --as a modest request. Most of the $3.9 million requested for the next fiscal year will go to finish projects at the school in Columbia or begin planning for new ones.

The board of trustees approved the capital budget request at its October meeting and sent it to the county government for review. Approved projects will be financed with county bonds.

Burrill said HCC's top priorities are expansion of the parking lot and construction of a new classroom building.

Construction work on the parking lot is scheduled to begin in May 1991 and be completed in time for the start of the fall semester. The project will cost a total of $1.2 million.

The new classroom building, a $7.3 million project, is expected to open in 1993-1994. The building will relieve a space squeeze, Burrill said.

Trustees are expected to choose a site for the classroom building after they receive an updated campus master plan with an architect's recommendation for a site, probably this month.

The new building is planned to house conference space, offices, a TV studio, child-care center and microcomputer laboratories in addition to classrooms. College officials are asking for $1.2 million in planning money in 1991-1992, in addition to $260,000 already approved for preliminary designs.

Renovations proposed for the Smith Theatre are in line with a 1989 county government study that recommended renovating existing buildings rather than build a new cultural arts center, Burrill said.

Smith Theatre's ventilating equipment is so noisy it has to be turned off during performances, the HCC president reported. Plans call for renovating the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system as part of the $1.6 million renovation.

College officials plan to construct another building adjacent to the theater to house dance classes, play rehearsals, small performances and storage. The budget for 1991-1992 calls for $390,000 to begin planning the project.

The trustees agreed to move up air-conditioning for the HCC gym by one year. They asked for $665,000 to install air-conditioning in 1991-1992 rather than wait for construction of a two-story annex and multiurpose area the following year.

"Humidity seems to be the main problem" for athletes trying to use the gym during the summer, reported athletic director Thomas Carbotti. He said the gym is used during the summer for basketball and Maryland Youth Summer Sports Program camps and on rainy days for soccer and tennis camps.

The 1991-1992 capital projects budget request also includes $1.6 million to beef up electrical power, install an emergency generator and remove PCBs from transformers on campus.

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