Montgomery College President’s Response to County Executive’s FY2013-2018 Capital Improvements Plan

In response to the Montgomery County Executive’s recommendations for the fiscal year (FY) 2013-2018 capital improvements program (CIP), Montgomery College DeRionne P. Pollard released the following statement:  “Montgomery College acknowledges the fiscal constraints the county has faced during these times of continued economic challenge. Therefore, the College made a reasonable funding request in its FY13-18 CIP, focusing on projects that would benefit students through increased access to classrooms and labs, and enhanced learning environments.  Montgomery College’s fall enrollment surpassed the University of Maryland, College Park, making the College the largest undergraduate institution in the state of Maryland. Federal and state goals to dramatically increase college completion rates recognize that community colleges are central to producing a skilled workforce. It is essential we add modern classrooms and labs to meet these demands.  The College CIP request to the county included a new Student Services Center to serve as a one-stop shop for admissions, registration, financial aid, and counseling on the Rockville Campus; expanding the Science and Applied Technologies Building to handle increased enrollment and grow our engineering program on the Germantown Campus; adding a new parking garage at Rockville; and equipping new buildings with the necessary technology and materials for quality learning.  Montgomery College requested $506.2 million in capital funding, but the County Executive proposed $332.5 million-which amounts to a reduction of $173.8 million. While the County Executive supports funding for the Germantown Campus Science and Applied Studies building renovation and the Rockville Campus Student Services Center, his recommendations did not include funding for the parking garage at Rockville within the six years of the CIP.  Currently, we have fewer than 3,300 parking spaces for a campus that serves 17,000 each semester. While many of the College’s students use public transit, others juggle work, family, and school, and they must rely on their cars and dependable parking options to ensure access to their education. The garage would have helped remedy this issue. We sought to maximize our space and build a future garage on existing lots, similar to the Universities at Shady Grove’s plan that was recommended for funding by the County Executive. In addition, the plans for a future Math and Science Center on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus were delayed. These plans, which the County Executive recommended moving beyond 2018, would have created a single complex to better serve students studying science, technology, engineering, and math.  Among the other reductions proposed by the County Executive: 

  • Decrease future construction costs by 10 percent 
  • Decrease equipment and furniture costs for current and future buildings under construction 
  • Eliminate funding associated with a major information technology project in FY13  Through the CIP request, Montgomery College sought to balance the needs of students with the fiscal challenges of the county. As the capital budget process continues, Montgomery College will work with the Montgomery County Council to ensure that we provide students with facilities that support access to and success in our classrooms.”
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