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Montgomery College Celebrates Groundbreaking of Bioscience Education Center

Future LEED Gold-Certified Building on College’s Germantown Campus to Prepare Students for Careers in Maryland’s Innovation Economy

Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard and the Montgomery College Board of Trustees joined federal, state, and county elected officials and business partners at today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the future Bioscience Education Center, which will feature science classrooms and laboratories on the College’s Germantown Campus.

“Our Bioscience Education Center will offer students unparalleled education facilities that will prepare them for future careers in Maryland’s innovation economy,” said Dr. Pollard, president of Montgomery College. “We are truly grateful for the support of our elected officials, who have helped make the building possible.”

The Bioscience Education Center is scheduled to open by the end of 2013. The total cost—supported by the state of Maryland and Montgomery County—will be $87.9 million for planning, design, construction, and equipment.

“It is such an honor to join in the groundbreaking today for the new Bioscience Education Center at Montgomery College,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Maryland sits at the epicenter of brilliant science, innovative technology, and remarkable discoveries—our own cutting edge of history. This new building is an investment in the skills, talents and education of our people so that tomorrow’s leaders can remake and heal our world.”

“The Germantown Bioscience Education Center is a significant component in advancing the state and county’s economic development goals, to further the growth in the technology and life sciences industry,” said Maryland Senator Nancy J. King. “State funding on this project demonstrates our commitment to ensuring Maryland’s position as a global player in the biosciences.”

Courses that will be offered in the building include biology, biotechnology, chemistry, ecology, genetics, and landscape technology. In addition to classrooms and laboratories, the building will house group study rooms, a computer lab, offices, conference space, and a detached greenhouse. Among the other features is a robotics suite for cell culture, media preparation, and protein purification. It is modeled after a commercial lab, supporting student learning of real-world techniques.

“Montgomery College’s Bioscience Education Center is one more critical link in strengthening this county’s future in the biosciences,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “That means more life-saving research, more good-quality jobs, and a better tomorrow for us all.”

“The new Montgomery College-Germantown Bioscience Education Center will help provide the educational opportunities necessary for the College to keep pace with its growing enrollment and emerging technology,” said Montgomery Council President Valerie Ervin. “Montgomery County is committed to advancing bioscience research and development, so we have to provide our students will the tools to make that next great discovery. Montgomery College’s new facility will have a tremendous impact.”

The Bioscience Education Center is expected to receive LEED Gold certification for its sustainable features, which include solar photovoltaic panels, a green roof system, wind turbines, high-efficiency building systems, and water-saving plumbing fixtures. More than 70 acres of forest and a stream valley buffer will be preserved as a part of the campus in perpetuity.

“This Bioscience Education Center will bolster our region’s reputation as a hub for biotechnology and innovation. By offering a world-class environment to educate and retrain the bioscience workforce, the Center will help keep our community, and our nation, at the cutting edge of research and discovery. Institutions like Montgomery College are key to keeping our state and our nation competitive in the 21st century,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).              The Bioscience Education Center is the critical link between the Montgomery County Germantown Innovation Center and the future Science and Technology Park on the Germantown Campus, which will provide educational and employment opportunities for students and the community. The overall vision is to provide a continuum of life sciences education and training from middle school to postdoctoral levels in an integrated academic, business, and research environment.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Dr. Pollard and Holy Cross Hospital President and CEO Kevin Sexton announced the first-ever recipients of the Holy Cross Hospital Fund. Through the generosity of Holy Cross Hospital, the fund—established with the Montgomery College Foundation—supports Montgomery College educational projects that assist students seeking future hospital-related careers.

The Maryland Health Care Commission recently voted to approve a Certificate of Need for Holy Cross Hospital to build a new hospital within Montgomery College’s Science and Technology Park. A hospital will greatly benefit students by serving as an educational resource for aspiring healthcare workers. Since 2001, the College—at the request of the county and with the financial support from both the state and county—has planned its Science and Technology Park to replicate the success of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, anchored by Shady Grove Adventist. As the anchor tenant for Montgomery College’s Science and Technology Park, Holy Cross Hospital will attract other medical, bioscience, and technology companies to the park, providing learning experiences for students and jobs for the community.

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