3 schools to move to Fort Meade WEST COUNTY -- Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

December 31, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Three Department of Defense schools that train military public relations officers will consolidate and move to Fort Meade, bringing 1,000 students and staff with them, a base spokesman said yesterday.

The announcement comes after two years of assurances from the garrison commander, Col. Kent D. Menser, that the facilities would relocate at the Odenton base, probably by 1995, and be the hub of an educational cluster.

Colonel Menser frequently mentioned the school to audiences and expressed his frustration at the slow process of moving it to reporters during several interviews over the last year.

"This is really good news," said Don McClow, a base spokesman. will perhaps open the door for other Department of Defense agencies to relocate here."

It was unclear, however, whether the move would create any jobs in the county.

The historic base, where troops have trained for conflicts from World War I to the Persian Gulf, is being transformed into an administrative post. The firing ranges have been closed and 8,100 acres were transferred to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Those changes and the recent departure of two battalions left some wondering whether Fort Meade was about to close.

Colonel Menser tried to dispel that rumor through a series of public meetings and slide shows in which he touted the consolidated schools as the start of Fort Meade's new mission of education and intelligence gathering.

The three schools moving to Fort Meade are the Defense Visual Information School, based at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado; the Defense Photography School, based in Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida; and the Defense Information School, based at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana.

Mr. McClow said the schedule for the schools' relocation has not been set.

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