College breaks ground for new health building

December 09, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

After seven years of planning, Anne Arundel Community College broke ground yesterday for an Allied Health and Public Services building, the first step in the development of the western end of the Arnold campus.

Standing under cloud-filled skies and braving a frigid wind, Thomas E. Florestano, the school's president, joked that he was "here today to announce the new site of the jail."

It was a joke that especially amused County Executive Robert R. Neall, who attended the college in its early years and was among local politicians who attended the ceremony.

Mr. Florestano called the occasion "a really happy day for us."

"It's been seven years that this thing has been on the horizon," he said.

Most of the money for the $6.2 million classroom building came from county coffers.

The building is scheduled to be ready for classes in the spring of 1994.

Mr. Florestano said that only twice in the past seven years did he think the new building might not be started.

Once, County Council members suggested putting the new building at the former Wiley H. Bates School in Annapolis. And earlier this year, environmentalists concerned over its potential effect on wetlands objected to the campus expansion.

In that case, Mr. Florestano said the campus and the environmentalists have reached an agreement in which the college promises to be a good neighbor.

Robert DiAiso, chairman of the college's board of trustees, said the new building represented the continued growth of the allied health field.

"Today represents both a new beginning and renewed commitment to the college," he said.

Mr. Neall said he was happy to help the college celebrate the groundbreaking.

"In this day and time I don't get to do very many pleasant things," he said.

"This building will allow people to gain real skills for real jobs that employ today and will employ tomorrow.

In its 31-year history, this college has helped a lot of people to get employable. I'm hopeful that will happen to me some day," he added.

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