Morgan State considering on-campus hotel Building would be part of hospitality school and conference center

November 20, 1998|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

A new building on the Morgan State University campus could bring a hotel to Northeast Baltimore that would be a learning facility for students in the school's hospitality management program.

The $30 million structure would include classrooms for hospitality management students, a conference center and a 60- to 100-room hotel. Students in the program would get practical experience by working in the conference center and hotel, according to university officials.

Ray Vollmer, the school's assistant vice president for finance and management, said Morgan will ask the state to finance the academic portion of the building but will look for other funds for the hotel and conference center.

"We are currently in discussions with a number of groups about financing," Vollmer said, indicating that the funding could come from federal grants, private investors or some form of partnership with a hotel chain.

The state funding required will not be determined until those talks are concluded, according to Vollmer, who said the earliest construction could begin is July 2000, with completion two years later. Vollmer said the school is prepared to run the hotel if it does not work out an agreement with a chain.

The building is to be located on the east side of Hillen Road, north of Morgan's main campus, but south of the building that houses the engineering school.

An architect's drawing shows a facility with three distinct parts -- the conference center to the north, a five-story hotel in the middle and the academic wing to the south. A bridge would connect the new buildings -- and the engineering school -- to the main campus.

The conference center would include a main area of 4,500 square feet, three 2,400-square-foot facilities and four smaller rooms of around 1,400 square feet.

Vollmer said that the building is included in the school's long-range capital plan, but that no state funding would be requested until negotiations for the other financing are concluded. Any such request requires approval by the governor and legislature.

University officials said that the school has offered the hospitality management program for two years and expects the popularity of the degree to grow.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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