Community college opens centers for arts, business, health

Buildings help make Westminster campus `more comprehensive'

October 04, 2002|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

Health-minded students, thespians and corporate executives might not be groups that normally have anything in common, but all have a reason to cheer with the opening today of two new buildings at Carroll Community College.

"These buildings help make our campus more comprehensive," said Alan Schuman, executive vice president of administration, of the Robert Annis and Phyllis Barrett Scott Center, which includes the Business Training Center and Life Fitness Building. "It gives us all kinds of programming space we didn't have before, especially in area of the arts. We're now able to do things we've not gotten involved with before."

The buildings add more than 61,500 square feet to the 80-acre campus. The additions were designed to complement other buildings. The architects for the new buildings, Probst-Mason Inc., designed the rest of the campus.

Although students and faculty have been using the new buildings since the semester started last month, the two-year college wanted to introduce them to the community with a dedication ceremony.

Speeches, tours

Earlier in the week, 150 mums were wrapped and placed in and around the buildings for today's festivities, which will include speeches from college and local government representatives and tours of the buildings.

The price tag for the buildings is almost $13.5 million, most of which was paid by state and county capital spending programs. The Scott family, for which the center is named, donated about $304,000 to its construction.

With a glass facade surrounded by brick, the Scott Center is the showier of the two buildings. A vast lobby greets visitors. Its 428-seat auditorium is being adjusted for sound and lighting.. The college will stage its productions there, but is also considering opening the space to other groups.

"The theater is just fantastic," Schuman said. "There's not a bad seat in the house."

Art connoisseurs will appreciate the resources at the Scott Center, with its emphasis on fine and performing arts. Inside on the second floor is a rehearsal hall, an art gallery, two music studios, two art labs and faculty areas. Budding and advanced pianists can bang the keys to their heart's desire in one of five soundproof music rooms.

New business center

The Business Training Center is part of the Scott Center building. Directly underneath the Scott Center's art classrooms are the business center's rooms.

The Business Training Center was created in part to address the business community's need to attract and retain more technically astute workers.

The college hopes that the center invites companies and associations into educational partnerships where the college would provide the space, teaching resources and administrative support, while companies bring their people on campus for training and development.

They will be able to use multimedia projection and computer systems, high-speed Internet access and a small-business resource center stocked with sample business plans, marketing tips and software manuals.

Organizations that are using the center include Carroll County General Hospital, Tevis Oil Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp., said Karen L. Merkle, vice president for continuing education and work-force training at the college.

Expanding offerings

The college has offered business courses and technology training at its South Center Street building, but is now able to expand those offerings with the new facility, including a new class, the East Coast Animal Control Officer Training Program.

Students and faculty can take aerobics classes or play intramural basketball in a full-size gymnasium at the new Fitness Center, on the other side of the main campus building from the Scott Center.

It includes an exercise room for students and faculty where they can work out with free weights, Nautilus machines and treadmills.

Four new multipurpose classrooms will be used for health classes.

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