Success forces school to revise master plan Enrollment exceeds official projections at community college

November 27, 1995|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Success is continuing to change the face of Anne Arundel Community College.

Five years after settling on a 10-year campus master plan, administrators are being forced to revise it because student population and needs are exceeding projections.

"This college has been conducting classrooms in storerooms because we ran out of space," said Paul Luthringer, director of campus development. "We are growing."

College officials met last week with 14 contractors who are interested in drafting a blueprint for the construction and maintenance of buildings.

Proposals will be accepted until Dec. 14.

A committee will make its recommendation to the vice president of administration Jan. 5.

Much has changed since the college first held evening courses at Severna Park High School in 1961. The main campus on College Parkway in Arnold has grown from about 115 acres in 1982 to 165 acres. The adjacent West Campus has 235 acres.

School enrollment has surpassed expectations, Mr. Luthringer said. Almost 11,900 students are taking classes this year, about 3,000 more than were enrolled in 1990.

The college projects an increase of another 2,200 students by 2000.

Administrators said the current master plan -- the third in the school's 34-year history -- has served the school well.

A 64,000-square-foot allied health center on the West Campus was completed last year, and a 9,000-square-foot addition is being built for the science building on the main campus. County officials broke ground recently for an $8.2 million fine arts building on the West Campus.

The plan also calls for renovations on the 19 buildings on the main campus and the construction of parking spaces to add to the existing 2,403.

'Dynamic document'

"This is a very dynamic document. It is not a document that you do and put on the shelf," said Bill Trueblood, project coordinator for the school.

He said if the school is to continue to attract new students, it must meet professional and personal needs.

"As society changes, and therefore the programs that students are interested in or need to be successful, we need to be responsive to those changes," he said.

For example, the college eliminated three engineering degree

programs and one certificate program in June when enrollment in those courses dipped, while it added seven majors, including computer network management and emergency medical technician-paramedic studies.

Goals unchanged

And officials proposed the construction of the fine arts building after a marked increase in the number of students enrolling in communication arts courses. Plans were drafted in 1990, and the 59,000-square-foot building will be finished before the 1997 spring semester.

Students will have access to 16 studios for dance, music and art, six classrooms, a teleconferencing center, a recital hall and an art gallery.

Despite the physical changes, Mr. Trueblood said the goals of the college will not change.

"We will stay a two-year community college," he said. "We will grow and be responsive to the community. We will continue to be responsive to the needs of Anne Arundel County."

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