News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: July 28, 2004 (04-64) 

PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images to accompany this story are available at /news/highresolutionimages/04/tpexpansion/

Montgomery College Opens Pedestrian Bridge at Takoma Park Campus
County, State, and Local Leaders Join College Officials
at Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
 

            Montgomery College today marked a milestone in the expansion of its Takoma Park Campus with the opening of a pedestrian bridge that links the main campus with the newly expanded section in south Silver Spring.  Maryland Senator Ida Ruben, County Council member at-large George Leventhal, Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter, and Montgomery County Planning Board Chairman Derick Berlage joined Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley, community and business leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the west entrance to the bridge, located on Fenton Street near New York Avenue in Silver Spring.  

“The opening of the pedestrian bridge is a great occasion and a win-win for Montgomery College and the community,” said Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley.  “Not only does the pedestrian bridge provide students with much needed access to our expanded Takoma Park Campus, but the bridge also serves the community by giving residents access to Jesup Blair Park.”

Spanning 165 feet across the CSX/WMATA tracks, the pedestrian bridge allows students to reach the College’s new Health Sciences Center quickly without having to walk from Fenton Street to Burlington Avenue to Georgia Avenue.  The bridge also boasts a glass-enclosed walkway, ramps, and lighting, making it accessible year-round. 

Jointly funded by the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, the construction cost for the pedestrian bridge is $4 million.  Architectural firm Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C. planned and designed the structure.  Greenhorne & O'Mara, a civil engineering firm, oversaw the bridge’s structural design.  Bovis Lend Lease, Inc. served as the construction management firm. 

The pedestrian bridge marks the completion of phase one of the College’s three-phase, $92 million Takoma Park Campus expansion project.  Phase one included the realignment of Fenton Street and the construction of the College’s new Health Sciences Center, which was dedicated in January

2004.  The Health Sciences Center houses the College’s credit and non-credit health sciences programs as well as the College’s Giant Center for Business Training, a full-service workforce development and continuing education center, and the Holy Cross Hospital Health Center, a primary care clinic for uninsured or underinsured adults operated by Holy Cross Hospital. 

Currently, the bridge is accessible by a ramp on the west side of Fenton Avenue and another ramp on the northeast corner of Jesup Blair Park.  In phase two of the bridge construction, the bridge will be extended across Fenton Street into the second level of the planned Student Services Center.  Already under construction, the Student Services Center is located at the intersection of Fenton Street and New York Avenue.  It will house admissions, registration, computer labs, a cafeteria, bookstore, and other student services.  Both the Student Services Center and the extended portion of the pedestrian bridge are scheduled to open in 2006. 

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  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.