The state Board of Public Works has approved an $8.2 million contract to build a new fine arts building at Anne Arundel Community College.
CAM Construction Co. Inc. will begin preparing West Campus for the project, which will be funded by more than $3.5 million from the state and $4.7 million from the county.
"Of course, the college is thrilled that we have gotten the approval," said Theone Relos, spokeswoman for the college. "This gives us the opportunity to proceed with construction."
The state board approved the contract Wednesday. CAM could begin preparing the site later this month and finish before the 1997 spring semester, said Ms. Relos.
The school's board of trustees voted unanimously in July to award the contract to CAM. The Timonium-based company's $8.2 million bid was the lowest of six bids.
The 59,000-square-foot, three-story center will have: 16 studios for dance, music and art; six classrooms; a teleconferencing center; a recital hall; and an art gallery.
The company also will build a 460-space parking lot and a road connecting the main campus to the West Campus.
Ms. Relos said plans for the building were drawn in 1990 when school officials noticed a marked increase in the number of students enrolling in communication arts courses.
"We knew that we needed classroom space," she said. "This gives us the opportunity to alleviate the space problem on
Ms. Relos said the fine arts building will be a major recruiting tool to attract students.
"I would expect that with more space, more sections could be offered, and it would attract more students," she said.
The college also sees the building as an important addition to the community, said Ms. Relos.