Md. funds 2019 portion of new AACC building


Photo by Roxanne Ready

Melissa Beardmore, the vice president of learning resources management, explains plans for a new building at the November Board of Trustees meeting.

Roxanne Ready, Editor-in-Chief

The state budget the governor proposed on Jan. 16 includes funding for construction of AACC’s Health Sciences and Biology building.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 includes all $2.5 million AACC requested for the building this year, according to Melissa Beardmore, AACC’s vice president of learning resources management.

The new building, which will open in 2020, will house classes the School of Health Sciences holds in the Florestano building. AACC built Florestano as an office space rather than with classrooms or science labs in mind.

Caleb Schaeffer, the Student Government Association secretary and a massage therapy student, said he is happy the budget includes funding for the new building.

“We have one of the top-rated [massage therapy] programs in the state of Maryland,” said Schaeffer. “[It has] almost a 100 percent pass rate, but we only have one room for that program.”

The massage therapy program has a 98 percent pass rate and holds all lectures, labs and clinics in Florestano 316.

Construction will cost $121 million from 2019 to 2020, not including demolition of the pool and Schwartz buildings or the re-routing of Ring Road to make way for the new building.

In June, AACC administrators chose the Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. in Baltimore to design the building in collaboration with SmithGroupJJR, an architectural, engineering and planning firm in Washington, D.C. The design process began Jan. 29 and will continue through May 2019.

According to the budget proposal, community colleges across the state would receive $60 million for construction and maintenance of their buildings.