Center for Trades and Energy Training to be Phase I of Master Plan for Site
Southern Maryland elected officials, and business and community leaders joined College of Southern Maryland students and employees in dedicating the new Regional Hughesville Campus and in breaking ground for the Center for Trades and Energy Training (CTET). More than 200 people attended the Oct. 27 ceremony at the new 74-acre campus where congratulations and words of gratitude flowed for the efforts that made the concept of a regional campus a reality.
“Today we are going to do two things that will definitely mark that this is truly a regional college that serves the needs of the residents of all three counties,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “First, we are going to dedicate our new campus, and also we are going to break ground for our first building, our Center for Trades and Energy Training. I believe that these two events really indicate that the college values equal service, equal proximity, equal access to high-quality programs that are convenient to the citizens of all Southern Maryland.”
CSM Board of Trustees Chair Dorothea Holt Smith welcomed guests to a new chapter in the college's history, saying, “It may be a cool, cloudy October day in Hughesville, but many of us are experiencing the warmth, the joy, the relief, that this day has arrived.”
Smith said CTET marked the first phase in the development of the campus. The second phase is the construction of a state-of-the-art medical sciences building that will provide training to the healthcare professionals of the future. Other proposed phases for the campus could include a fine arts building, a field house and relocation of the college's athletic fields.
Gottfried said placing CSM's Regional Campus in Hughesville is important so that the new campus is central to the region. “To have kept [CTET, a currently leased facility] in Waldorf would have denied who we are. We know that citizens of St. Mary's and Calvert counties were not getting the services they needed and desired,” Gottfried said.
“We are going to find the resources that we need so that every person in Southern Maryland gets the education that they need. That's something that means so much to me as college president and so much to others-no one should ever be denied an education,” said Gottfried.
Among those offering remarks during the ceremony was Maryland State Sen. Thomas “Mike” Miller, who said that state and local government coming together to make the Regional Hughesville Campus a reality revealed participatory government at its best and that the dirt floor beneath the tent used for the ceremony was a 'glorious' dirt floor because it represented a new beginning for the college and for regionalization.
Dr. Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera, acting secretary for the Maryland Higher Education Commission, brought greetings from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and asked guests to think about how leaders from three counties came together to create one great community college that has blended the distinct characteristics of each of the counties. “The concept was groundbreaking and the result is a model to be replicated. Talk about effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars and a great return on the investment.”
“The College of Southern Maryland is a vibrant hub of aspiration, learning and workforce training?it is an educational home where many students can launch a lifetime of success,” Hunter-Cevera said.
Providing a student perspective was Anita Hawkins of Brandywine who completed Fundamentals of Welding Part I earlier this fall. “I've always enjoyed working with my hands and being creative. I feel proud of myself after completing a project,” Hawkins said. “From the first time I learned to strike an arc, welding carbon steel and aluminum through the processes of shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and gas tungsten arc welding-I was hooked. Now at 24 I've found a field that I love: welding.”
Hawkins thanked the people behind the creation of the central campus so that a greater number of Southern Maryland residents can receive trades training close to home.
Speaking on behalf of fellow members of the Southern Maryland Delegation, Maryland Delegate Sally Jameson told guests, “We have all been behind the College of Southern Maryland since it was Charles County Community College. We love this [institution], it has grown a lot and it is serving the needs of the counties not just today but into the future.”
The 30,000-square-foot CTET will include labs, classrooms and administrative space, and is expected to be completed for fall 2016. Architects are Grimm + Parker, and construction will be completed by Scheibel Construction. Construction funding of $8,934,000 will be provided by the state, providing 75 percent, and Charles County, providing 25 percent.
“We are so proud of the futures-I want to pluralize that-that the college has built and continues to build on its campuses,” said Charles County Board of County Commissioners President Peter F. Murphy on behalf of the Board of Charles County Commissioners and residents of the county. “The College of Southern Maryland is proving to be a catalyst for growing our communities, for the county partnerships that we have with St. Mary's and Calvert, for employment, for economic growth, for continuing education not just for our younger people but for our adults as well, for career enhancement and for personal enrichment for all of our residents-for all generations of our residents.”
“What we are about to break ground on I see as the intersection between education and economic development,” said Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson. “The education part is obvious-the college has been doing a marvelous job for generations. What will be taking place here will be education of energy and trades, teaching entrepreneurs and workers for a new green economy, and that is very exciting. Also with economic development, this is breaking ground on the revitalization of a very important village in our region.”
Quoting from Vice President Joe Biden, Robinson said, “This, is a big deal.”
“If I brought this microphone any closer to me, I swear you would hear my heart pounding out of my chest,” said Pauleen Brewer, president of the Hughesville Business and Civic Alliance, Inc., of the excitement she felt at the groundbreaking ceremony and what it means for the village of Hughesville.
Providing a historical perspective, Brewer said, “Because Hughesville is designated as a village, we are a state and county recognized Priority Funding Area. We are the largest village in Charles County encompassing over 600 acres of land. The fact that we are uniquely situated in the central portion of the Southern Maryland, Tri-County region, is a strategic asset.”
“Hughesville provides access to the entire region, and with the completion of the bypass, we have an opportunity to revitalize the village and attract new development consistent with our approved revitalization plan. We were thrilled the day CSM announced their decision to build their regional campus here, and we are thrilled and beyond proud to be here today to witness this groundbreaking. This location will truly serve the entire region and defines this learning institution's name, The College of Southern Maryland,” said Brewer.
“Students who attend training [at CTET] will be among the most highly sought-after in Southern Maryland,” said St. Mary's County Board of County Commissioners President James R. Guy. “It will also help St. Mary's and our neighboring counties to continue on the road to diversifying our respective economies. CSM continues to be a great partner in St. Mary's County and, with the addition of this campus, I'm confident that all of our citizens will be the ones to reap the benefits.”
Also offering congratulations was Calvert County Board of County Commissioners President Steven R. Weems, an alum who played soccer for CSM. “There was a slogan for Maryland, 'Unity, Through Diversity,' years ago and I really think that encapsulates what the College of Southern Maryland is all about.”
“It is our goal to offer residents of Southern Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan region the opportunity to learn a skilled trade here at CSM and thus earn a living wage, career mobility, job satisfaction, the ability to use their hands to create something and the pride that comes with it,” said Dr. Daniel Mosser, vice president, Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.
“CSM's total enrollment in workforce development last year was just under 13,000 enrollments with 1,500 of those enrollments at our currently leased Center for Trades and Energy Training in Waldorf. We look forward to expanding our offerings at this new facility to provide even more enrollments.”
A regionally accredited community college that provides programs and services with a special focus on local workforce development to maintain and grow a healthy economy and community, CSM serves students and the community at its campuses in La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick, as well as at the Waldorf Higher Education Center and Center for Transportation Training in La Plata. The Regional Hughesville Campus will centrally locate specialized, high-cost programs.
For information about CSM, call 301-934-7765 or visit www.csmd.edu. For a gallery of photos from the groundbreaking ceremony, visit http://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/ctetdedication. For information on the Regional Hughesville Campus, visit http://www.csmd.edu/about/locations/regional-campus/index.html.