Ccc Stays Hopeful On Capital Projects

September 22, 1991|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — Carroll Community College officials find themselves in a somewhat embarrassing situation as they unveil a $2.38 million capital-improvement program for fiscal 1993 to the county.

Although student enrollment at the college has skyrocketed -- 2,783 full- and part-time students, up 31 percent from two years ago -- additional state and local dollars have not been forthcoming to boost staff and services.

As a result, many classrooms at the Washington Road building, which opened last fall, are at or above capacity. CCC has relied increasingly on adjunct professors to teach an expanded course selection.

"It's a tremendous help, but we can't continue like this," said James Bruns, director of instruction.

Relief isn't likely to come any time soon, as both state and county budget planners wrestle with doling out increasingly scarce dollars. With the state looking to cut money for community colleges, CCC could stand to lose as much as $340,000, or 6 percent of its current $5.3 million operating budget, said Alan D. Schuman, CCC's director of administration.

"I hesitate to speak in any great detail until we know what's going to happen," he told the college's advisory board Thursday.

Officials at the state Board for Community Colleges could not be reached for comment.

Despite the gloomy financial forecast, CCC officials remain hopeful the $2.38 million capital budget for fiscal 1993, which begins July 1, willget the green light from the county planning commission.

"In light of the current financial situation, we are hopeful," Schuman said.

"But we know it's difficult to find resources for our projects andothers. There's a lot of concern the projects might not be approved."

The capital plan is $726,400 more than what college officials had outlined for fiscal 1993 in a six-year program submitted to the county last year.

That's because the college, at the recommendation of Executive Dean Joseph F. Shields, has made a library building a higher priority in the capital program than a physical education building.

CCC is seeking $586,000 for the building design and $375,000 for the acquisition of library books, periodicals and audiovisual materials needed to meet accreditation standards.

Shields said the existing library is inadequate to meet those accreditation standards whether the college remains a part of Catonsville Community College or seeks to become an independent institution.

Also included in the request is $644,000 for construction of a south parking lot. The additional lot is needed because the existing one is inadequate.

The total price tag for the county amounts to about $2 million. CCC is seeking about $367,000 from the state. CCC sought $5.5 million from the county for fiscal 1992, but received only $247,000.

"They're in toughcompetition," said Gary Horst, capital budget supervisor in the county Department of Management and Budget, referring to the college's request for additional dollars. "When you total everything everybody has asked for, those numbers exceed what was approved for this year. Basically, that means agencies are going to have to be trimming and stretching out these requests."

Expanding the proposed library from 28,000 square feet to 51,000 square feet to meet accreditation standards and rising building costs have raised the price tag on the six-year capital program to $36.3 million. Other projects include the physical education building, a fine and performing arts center and cafeteria renovations.

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