News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

For Immediate Release (02-19)
Date: April 24, 2002 
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Launches Takoma
Park Campus Expansion
First Building will be a New Health Sciences Center

The historic first campus of Montgomery College began branching out from Takoma Park into the South Silver Spring community today with a combination demolition/groundbreaking event.

College leaders and elected officials celebrated the start of a long-awaited three-building Takoma Park campus expansion with a symbolic demolition at the former Silver Spring Motel. Charlene R. Nunley, President of Montgomery College, and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan were among those who took golden sledgehammers to the old motel, which long has been a symbol of blight in downtown Silver Spring.

Others taking part in the ceremony included State Senator Ida M. Ruben, (Dist. 20), Delegate Peter Franchot, (Dist. 20), County Council Member Derick Berlage of Silver Spring, and Takoma Park Mayor Kathryn H. Porter.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting future for a campus that has for so long been challenged by space constraints and by the condition of many of its educational facilities," said Dr. Nunley. "For so long, we have been unable to grow so that we can adequately meet the needs of a burgeoning student population and of a wonderfully diverse community that is so deserving of the kinds of educational and career-building opportunities that we are in such a unique position to provide."

Today’s event underscores the College’s commitment to being an integral part of the larger community.

"This groundbreaking is not only a major event for Montgomery College, but is also a milestone in the revitalization of Silver Spring," said Duncan. "The new, expanded campus also will serve as an exciting, attractive gateway to Montgomery County."

The demolition process that began today will clear the way for the expansion’s first building, a new, state-of-the-art health sciences educational center. The structure not only will serve the College's nursing and other medical programs, but will also become home to a community clinic operated by Holy Cross Health, and to a new College-operated business training center.

Later phases of the campus expansion will include a student services center and a cultural arts center. Since railroad tracks separate the expansion area from the existing campus, a major factor in its success will be a footbridge linking the two sites. State funding for the bridge recently was approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

The Takoma Park campus originated in 1950 when the Montgomery County Board of Education bought the famed Bliss Electrical School and made it the original campus for Montgomery College, which had operated for four years at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. The county paid $350,000 for the seven-acre, six-building Bliss property. Classes began on October 2, 1950.

Today’s Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus continuing education centers in Gaithersburg and Wheaton. It serves about 21,000 students in credit programs and enrolls another 25,000 annually in non-credit, continuing education programs.

For more information, please visit www.montgomerycollege.edu.

# # #

Back to News