Fran­chot vis­its new CSM Hugh­esville Cam­pus

Tours new Cen­ter for Trades and En­ergy Train­ing

Maryland Independent - - News - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @SykesIndyNews

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL SYKES II

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.

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