By DON AINES
7:05 PM EST, February 26, 2013
Hagerstown Community College is willing to delay some capital improvement projects for a period of years in exchange for getting a Public Safety Training Center back into the proposed 10-year capital improvement plan, President Guy Altieri told the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
The county Capital Improvement Committee had recommended pushing phase one of the center from 2016-19 to begin in 2024, while phase two would be moved back from 2019-20 to begin in 2028, Director of Budget and Finance Debra Murray said.
Altieri said he understood the budget pressures facing the county, but said the 10-year plan for the campus could be revised to get at least phase one of the training center included in the 10-year cycle that begins July 1.
Altieri presented a plan to the board to include $14.7 million in fiscal years 2017 through 2019 for the first phase of the training center. About $9.4 million would come from state funding sources and $5.3 million from the county, the proposal said.
Phase one would be 16,000 square feet and phase two 8,000 square feet, Altieri said. He told the commissioners he would at the least want to see phase one included in the proposed 10-year plan.
The center could serve the training and education needs of approximately 2,000 police, fire and rescue personnel in the area, Altieri said.
In exchange, the college would delay work on several projects now proposed for 10-year plan.
Altieri proposed delaying the $3 million renovation of the Learning Resource Center from 2016-17 to 2020; the $3.6 million renovation of the Teacher Education Center from 2017-18 to 2020-21; construction of a $5.9 million Campus Operations Building from 2018-19 to 2021-22; $7.6 million in renovations to the Advanced Technology Center from 2019-21 to 2022-23; and an $11.2 million addition and improvements to the ARCC from 2021-23 to 2024-25.
Changing the sequence on the projects would not add to the college’s requests for capital improvement funding during the 10-year plan, Altieri said.
One issue the county might need to resolve if the capital improvement plan is to be altered is the costs for the operation of the training center, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said. That is one reason the county wants a fire service master plan, to be able to determine how much the county will need to budget for operations and the possible sources of revenue, he said.
“The county should address current funding operating issues before it makes further commitments,” Debra Murray said.
That was an issue during capital improvement plan discussions last week when the recommendation was to push back construction of a new library for Hancock because operating expenses on the new library in Hagerstown had yet to be fully funded.
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