State Board Oks Plan For Aberdeen

January 06, 1991

The Maryland Higher Education Commission has endorsed the Higher Education and Applied Technology Center (HEAT) planned for Aberdeen.

Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann and members of the county task force working on the project presented the proposal for a public-private partnership arrangement on the project to the commission Dec. 19.

All higher education programs in the state must be reviewed and approved by the commission.

Without the commission's approval, HEAT task force members could not conduct any formal negotiations with any colleges or universities about setting up courses at the center, said George Harrison, Rehrmann's press secretary. He said the commission's endorsement of the project means HEAT task force members can proceed with plans to create a weekend college program at Harford Community College. Negotiations to decide which colleges and universities across the state will offer four-year degrees can begin, Harrison said.

Slated to open in fall 1991 as the first phase of the HEAT center, the weekend college will involve partnerships with colleges and universities around the state that will offer primarily technical and science four-year and graduate degrees without having to travel outside the county.

The HEAT center, a regional education and researchpark, is planned for a 118-acre parcel of state land at Route 22 andInterstate 95.

Originally, the task force planned to seek a private developer to build at the developer's own expense a three-story education center before lining up universities and colleges to offer various degree programs. However, the task force decided to begin instead with a weekend college program, which could be offered in existing buildings at Harford Community College, in an effort to avoid projected cost overruns in the first year of operation.

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