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Fort Meade site explored by AACC; Goal is to reach rapidly growing west county; Day classes considered; Post officials waiting for response from Army


Anne Arundel Community College officials are "exploring options," including building an off-campus facility at Fort Meade to reach the growing population in the western portion of the county.

The west has been the fastest-growing part of the county over the past decade, gaining more than 30,000 people in nine years, said Sandy Spear, the county demographer. That is expected to continue.

The college has held evening courses at Meade High School since 1979 but has never offered daytime courses in west county.

The college's Facilities Committee has been looking into what the school can do to provide daytime classes and some of the college's more popular degree courses.

"We would be looking to expand the number of instruction programs to include more programs and more sections of classes," said Andrew Meyer, vice president for continued education and work force development. "We would be offering continuing education. We're looking at developing relationships with four-year programs like the University of Maryland."

Officials would not specify their expansion options, but one is building at Fort Meade. The college has asked post officials about available land, Meyer said.

Post officials like the idea and have forwarded the request to the Department of the Army. They are awaiting a response.

More than 1,000 students attend evening courses at the high school, where the college offers business management and general studies degrees. Because space is lacking, the college provides fewer services in the west than at Glen Burnie Town Center.

Meyer said the Town Center facility is a model of what the school envisions for west county, including academic advising, a bookstore, registration and financial aid.

Community College President Martha A. Smith said the Facilities Committee will narrow its expansion options within a month.

"We know we really want to have an expanded presence," she said. "It's very preliminary, other than having a commitment to be there."

Pub Date: 1/27/99

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