News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: January 30, 2004 (04-10)
Contacts: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952; Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970

Montgomery College Opens State-of-the-Art Health Sciences Center
New Silver Spring Building Houses College’s Health Sciences Programs,
Holy Cross Hospital Health Center, Giant Food Center for Business Training

            Montgomery College today marked the completion of its new Health Sciences Center – located on Georgia Avenue in south Silver Spring – with a special dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.  College leaders and elected officials celebrated the event at the 98,000 square foot facility, which is home to the College's health sciences programs, a business training center, and a health center operated by Holy Cross Hospital.   

            County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and County Council President Steven Silverman joined Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting in which other College and elected officials joined them to cut a roll of medical gauze.  U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Senator Ida G. Ruben, and Takoma Park Mayor Kathy H. Porter were also part of the afternoon's festivities in south Silver Spring, along with Montgomery College trustees, alumni, students, faculty, and staff. 

“The opening of this spectacular new Health Sciences Center marks an incredibly exciting time for Montgomery College and for our community,” said Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley.  “With so much demand for nurses and other health care specialists, we have long sought to grow these academic programs and provide our students with the opportunity to be educated in world-class facilities, and finally, we are celebrating the realization of that dream.”

            The Health Sciences Center will be home to Montgomery College's six credit programs in the health sciences: health information technology, radiologic (x-ray) technology, nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, physical therapy assistant, and surgical technology.  The College also offers non-credit courses in the health sciences, including diagnostic imaging, gerontology, CPR, first aid, and medical billing.   

The new building – the first for the Takoma Park Campus in 25 years – features 22 classrooms equipped with “smart instructor” workstations, six seminar rooms, a computer lab and medical learning center.  The Health Sciences Center includes 12 learning labs, including ones for nursing, radiology, physical therapy, diagnostic ultrasound, health information technology, and an operating room for surgical technology students.

            Jointly funded by the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, the construction cost for the Health Sciences Center was $14 million.  It was planned and designed by the architectural firm of Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C. and Bovis Lend Lease, Inc. served as the construction management firm for the project. 

Housed on the first floor of the Health Sciences Center, the new Holy Cross Hospital Health Center at Montgomery College will be open to the public, providing primary care services to uninsured and underserved adults.  It will also provide clinical training opportunities for Montgomery College health sciences students.  With primary care services, as well as health education classes, screenings, and support groups, Holy Cross Hospital anticipates some 5,000 visits each year in the health center.  Care will be provided by nurse practitioners, with appropriate physician oversight, and a physician/medical director.  The Holy Cross Hospital Health Center is scheduled to open February 2, 2004.

            The first floor of the Health Sciences Center houses the Giant Food Center for Business Training, a facility operated by the College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education unit.  Equipped with six new corporate training classrooms, including one arranged as a conference room, and two computer labs, this one-stop business training center will provide the most up-to-date business education for  community organizations, local businesses and their employees.  Training can be tailor-made to suit employers’ needs.  The Center’s name honors the generosity of Giant Food, which sold the College its former bakery for approximately $2 million below fair market value.

            The Health Sciences Center is the first of two new buildings planned for Montgomery College in south Silver Spring.  It is also the first building completed in the College's three-phase, $92 million, three building expansion project.  Currently, a pedestrian footbridge is under construction, which will connect the original main Takoma Park Campus to the newly expanded section across the CSX/WMATA railroad tracks.  The footbridge, scheduled for completion this year, will enable students to access the Health Sciences Center and will help to connect nearby residents to Jesup Blair Park.

The second building, a Student Services Center, is slated to start construction later this year and will be built at the intersection of New York Avenue and Fenton Street, near the existing campus on the Takoma Park side.  The facility will house admissions, registration, computer labs, a cafeteria, bookstore, and other student services.  The final phase of the expansion project will be a new Cultural Arts Center at Georgia Avenue and East-West Highway.  The center, slated for completion in 2008, will include a 500-seat auditorium and a smaller theatre for College and community performances as well as meeting and art exhibit space.    

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and now, Silver Spring.  The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study. 

[NOTE TO EDITORS/REPORTERS: For members of the media that may be doing event day coverage of the Health Sciences Center opening, please note that the public is invited to a community open house, to tour the new facility, on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m.-noon.] 

[PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images to accompany this story are available at]

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