Aacc Seeks $1.5 Million To Expand

May 21, 1991|By Dianne Williams Hayes | Dianne Williams Hayes,Staff writer

With no place to put an ever-increasing number of students, Anne Arundel Community College officials are hoping the County Council will give them money to expand the Arnold campus.

While asking for only a slight increase in the college's operating budget -- $30 million, as compared with this year's $29.8 million -- they are hoping the county will include $1.5 million for expansion in the 1992 capital budget.

A 10-year college master plan calls for using 65 wooded acres on the western part of the campus to take AACC into the 21st century.

Land between the campus, Ritchie Highway and surrounding the Big Vanilla Racquet club would be used to add new buildings.

The first building on the drawing board is a 60,000-square-foot Allied Health Public Service building to house the nursing, paramedic and possibly theparalegal and hotel-restaurant management programs. In addition, a 270-space parking lot is planned.

College officials are requesting $400,000 to design the Allied Health building and $143,000 for infrastructure plans. Another $1 million would go for alterations to the Humanities Building.

Bruce Emge, of the county auditor's office, sees the college plan as one that must prove itself.

"If they have the enrollment to justify it, which they say they do, it would sound reasonable," Emge said. "The only problem is that money is tight all over. (Funding) depends on the other priorities of the county executive."

Consistent enrollment increases, including a population of younger students needing courses to transfer to four-year institutions and adults seeking career changes, are putting the squeeze on the already overcrowded campus. Classes are taking place in conference rooms, and parking is on a first-come, first-served basis.

But all plans are contingent on money.

"We're hoping for approval of funding," Administration Dean Edgar E. Mallick said. "We will plan other buildings eventually. In FY (fiscal year) '94, we will request funds for a Fine Arts building. The plan is to let enrollment drive the plans."

The number of students enrolled in credit programs grew from 14,220 in 1986 to 17,778 in 1990. And non-credit programs grew by nearly 7,000 students in that same period.

Officials say the college would use only 35 acres at the 65-acre site.

"Of course, we want to comply with all environmental regulations," Mallick said. "We want it aesthetically to be a pleasing piece of property. We want to do what is right."

Expansion plans for the college are part of a required 10-year facilities master plan that had to be submitted to the Maryland Higher Education Commission by March 1. The overall plan, which all community colleges in the state were required to submit, includes future goals for renovation of campus buildings that are at least 27 years old, roof replacements and new programs that may be added in the future.

"The county has been supportive," Mallick said. "They recognize that we do need additional support."

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