Big projects win backing from Schaefer State has $800 million capital spending plan.

January 31, 1992|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Staff Correspondent

ANNAPOLIS -- Projects ranging from the Christopher Columbus marine research center planned for the Inner Harbor to an incubator for biotechnology companies to a new prison in Western Maryland are included in Gov. William Donald Schaefer's ambitious $800 million building and maintenance program.

Among the routine government projects such as improvements to sewage treatment plants or parkland acquisition in the governor's capital budget announced yesterday are some big-ticket items. Most of them are financed by the state's general obligation bonds or by revenue bonds, which means they won't affect this year's general spending budget.

Among them:

* $17 million for the Christopher Columbus Center of Marine Research and Exploration planned for Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Plans call for an international marine research and education center on Piers 5 and 6, including a public exhibition center, a marine archaeology center and a 1,000-car garage, at a total cost of $130 million. Baltimore and the federal government also will share in the cost.

* $15 million for the Maryland Bioprocessing Facility, ( (TC Baltimore-area project designed to link biotechnology research and manufacturing. The $24.4 million facility will serve as an incubator for biotechnology companies that want to move from research to production.

* $52 million for new research space in the schools of medicine and nursing at the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

* $5 million for the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center and $10 million for the new clinical building at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

* $8 million for a new 2,500-bed prison in Western Maryland. The prison, scheduled to be completed in 1997, will cost $192 million overall.

The $800 million capital budget is substantially higher than this year's, which began with $727 million but was later cut as the budget crisis ballooned. The state is borrowing most of the money for building projects. Only $21 million is coming from the state operating budget.

The budget includes $60 million for public school construction, $35.5 million for park projects, and $173 million for water-quality projects.

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