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April 28, 2009

Date: April 28, 2009
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Brett Eaton, 240-567-7952

Statement By Montgomery College President Brian K. Johnson on the Montgomery County Council Committees’ Support of the County Road Plan for the College’s Germantown Campus

Montgomery College is pleased that the Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee and Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee supported the compromise plan for a Montgomery County road that will go through the Germantown Campus. The future four-lane county road will extend Observation Drive and connect Route 118 to Middlebrook Road. The plan provides the connectivity that the county wants to achieve with minimal disruption to the campus environment.

In the compromise plan, Montgomery College will preserve all 26 acres of the Gunner’s Branch stream valley, which includes wetlands, and nearly 45 acres of high priority forest. The preservation will protect one-third of the 240-acre campus from any future development. Montgomery College will continue to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment while meeting the needs of the community we serve.

Montgomery College will now move forward with the Planning Board’s review of the Bioscience Education Center planned for the Germantown Campus. At more than 125,000 square feet, the center will be a LEED-certified green building, maintaining the College’s role as a good steward of the environment. It will serve the growing biology, chemistry and biotechnology programs through modern classrooms and laboratories. Construction could start in early 2010 with an estimated completion of 2012.

The road alignment plan still allows for the future development of a science and technology park, but the park will be redesigned. The future park, along with the Germantown Innovation Center already open on campus, will position Montgomery College as a leader among community colleges for its partnership with the business community to bring employment and educational opportunities to Montgomery County, the state and the region.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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