Franchot visits new CSM Hughesville Campus
Tours new Center for Trades and Energy Training
On Thursday afternoon, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) went on a stroll through Southern Maryland and one of his stops was the new College of Southern Maryland Hughesville Regional Campus.
The campus is 74 acres in total, but Franchot paid a visit to the 30,000 square foot Center for Trades and Energy Training. The center is the first building on the campus and the newest addition to the College of Southern Maryland and is currently open to the public.
“This is all about workforce development,” CSM President Brad Gottfried said. “It’s a facility that we believe in.”
The facility offers multiple trade programs, Gottfried said, including construction, electrical engineering, plumbing and HVAC. The college is making itself more versatile with these offerings, Gottfried said, and opening itself up to new students who may not be interested in traditional college programs.
Franchot said it was good to see the college offering more opportunities to students in Southern Maryland and commended the administration for thinking outside of the box when it comes to education.
“It’s good to see all of this coming together,” Franchot said. “Especially in this area.”
The building, which is still at its “bare bones” point, Gottfried said, cost about $12 million to construct. There are still different additions that need to be made to the various centers before students will be able to learn in them.
But once they are up and running, Gottfried said, students will be able to learn about different practices and trades just as if they were on an apprenticeship with a company or in a trade school. The college is also looking to collaborate with different companies in the area, he said, to reach out to students for apprenticeships and create new opportunities for education in trade.
The college is also not done adding onto the Hughesville Campus, Gottfried said. “This is just phase one,” he said.
Soon, he said, the college will add a new health sciences building, a fine arts center, different athletic fields, a field house and additional classrooms for those different spaces. The plan, he said, is for the college to continue to grow in the Hughesville area and become a viable option for residents in the southern portions of the county and just outside of the county.
Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson (D) said the campus is part of the “revitalization of Hughesville.”
“Obviously this is a regional campus, but it’s here in Charles Coun- that,” Robinson said. ty and we’re proud of “This is really just the beginning.”
Gottfried said that Hughesville Station, which is an industrial park next to the campus, has been in development for years but has struggled to gain tenants. But with the addition of the campus, he said, there could be room for more growth in Hughesville.
Franchot said the more options people have to further their education, the better. It is good, he said, to see things getting done in Southern Maryland without having to struggle. The opposite seems to be happening in Annapolis on the state level, he said.
“Everything has gotten so partisan these days that it’s gotten hard to speak up on things,” Franchot said. “It’s going to be such a success.”
Calvert County Commissioner Steve Weems (R), left, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), College of Southern Maryland President Brad Gottfried and Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson (D) talk with students from the College of Southern Maryland in a new classroom at the Hughesville campus on April 13.