news 4 days ago

Garrett nixes performing arts center funding

Cumberland Times-News — Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News, Md.

April 19--MCHENRY -- The proposed Community Education and Performing Arts Center project at Garrett Community College has hit a snag after county officials said they can't fund the college's request for $725,000.

"The county must remove the Performing Arts Center from our capital plan, and no funds will be allocated towards this project for the foreseeable future," wrote Paul Edwards, chairman of the Garrett County Commission, in a letter to Vianne Bell, chair of the college board of trustees.

State funding has been approved for the project but is contingent on local funds. The arts center is among the projects included in a 10-year facilities master plan approved by college trustees.

"The college will be reviewing the current facilities master plan with this capital project change and discuss options moving forward," stated the trustee meeting minutes.

The college has held meetings to notify the donors of the project and has informed the community of the project status.

"We encourage and support the college's efforts to seek donors and corporate sponsors for the Performing Arts Center and remain committed to helping where we can," Edwards wrote.

The commission has provided $4 million to match state funding for renovations and additions to the college's STEM building, has increased the scholarship program for county residents to $550,000 and provided funding for other capital projects, according to Edwards' letter.

The college is currently working on its fiscal 2018 draft budget. The draft includes a 3 percent residence hall rate increase and a 2 percent in-county tuition hike.

The tuition rate increase would result in a $2 per credit hour increase, with all other tuition rates increasing $5 per credit hour.

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