Four former Washington County commissioners are lobbying to rename an arena inside Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center after former coach and athletic director Jim Brown.
The former commissioners asked the current commissioners Tuesday to send a resolution of support to the HCC Board of Trustees.
Reading from a four-page summary, former Commissioner John Salvatore listed Brown’s accomplishments for HCC, the county and the Boy Scouts.
Near the top of the list was Brown’s work in creating the ARCC, a popular venue for sports, high school graduations and other community activities.
The county contributed $4.5 million for the project and the state gave $1 million, Salvatore said. Private investors added hundreds of thousands of dollars. The building was given to HCC.
“It was Jim Brown that spearheaded the whole thing,” Salvatore said.
“Jim Brown probably was the ultimate mover in getting this project going — in the first place, getting it funded, and getting it completed,” former Commissioner Richard Roulette said. “And if there’s anyone that deserves recognition, he certainly does.”
The current commissioners took no action Tuesday but agreed to discuss the request further.
Commissioners Terry Baker, William McKinley and Ruth Anne Callaham spoke highly of Brown.
Brown couldn’t be reached for comment later in the day.
The current board of commissioners was the first stop for the four former commissioners from the early 1980s — Salvatore, Roulette, Ronald Bowers and R. Lee Downey.
The fifth commissioner from that time, Martin L. “Marty” Snook, died in 1989.
Snook’s son, Gregory, a former county commissioner and the incoming HCC Board of Trustees chairman, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
Contacted Tuesday afternoon, Patricia K. Cushwa, the incoming HCC Board of Trustees vice chairwoman, said she has heard general discussions about naming HCC buildings, but not a formal proposal for the ARCC.
“Certainly, Jim is a more than worthy candidate,” she said.
She said she doesn’t know the naming process, but she’s looking forward to reading the current commissioners’ resolution.
HCC President Guy Altieri wasn’t available for comment Tuesday, but HCC spokeswoman Beth Stull wrote in an email: “I can tell you that Dr. Altieri is generally aware that a community group is preparing a recommendation for the college to consider, however, he has not received a written proposal. Should the group present a written proposal that is appropriate for formal consideration, it will be presented for discussion at a future board of trustees meeting, and processed through the college’s normal naming-rights policy.”
Facilities at HCC that are named after people include the Kepler Theater and the Merle S. Elliott Continuing Education and Conference Center.