News from Montgomery College

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Date: November 26, 2002 (02-72)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952
                Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970

Montgomery College’s Germantown Land Purchase Approved
Council Appropriation Paves Way for Development of New Montgomery County
R&D Business Park for Life Sciences and Expanded Educational Program

Montgomery College today received unanimous approval from the County Council for a $6.1 million supplemental appropriation that will allow for the purchase of a 20-acre parcel of land known as the Kay Tract, adjacent to the College’s Germantown Campus. The property, to be combined with existing undeveloped land on the campus, will be used to assemble a 40-acre site for Montgomery County’s creation of a new life science and technology business park that will be modeled after the success of the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center.

            “We’re excited about partnering with the County and the State on this important economic development initiative,” said Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College. “The approval of this purchase paves the way for a visionary project that will help grow our most vital local industry, while helping us to build on the success of our Germantown Campus’s biotechnology and other instructional programs with the eventual creation of a world-class center for bioscience and technology education, training and business development.”

            The purchase of the 20-acre site, adjacent to I-270 at the MD Route 118 interchange, will be financed through a combination of County and State funding, including $4 million in revenue bonds and $2.1 million in State grants. Legislative approval of the appropriation and the purchase authority paves the way for the College’s settlement on the property in early 2003. The property is being sold to the College at $2 million under its fair market value, as a result of a gift that is being made available to the Montgomery College Foundation by the Kay family, which owns the land.

            Under the proposed plans for the business park, approximately 1 million square feet of high technology research and development space would be developed on the 40-acre site. Once fully complete, the R&D park – which is expected to begin construction within 18 months -- could be home to nearly 4,000 jobs. Included in the business park, along with developable space for existing, mature companies, would be a business incubator for start-up and emerging bioscience and technology firms.

Meanwhile, the College is planning for the development of a new 80,000-square-foot academic and training facility on the Germantown Campus that will include state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories for biotechnology, biology, and chemistry programs, as well as outside industry training. This project will facilitate MC collaboration with other educational partners to develop a continuum of bioscience and technology education and training from will allow for the development of a continuum of bioscience and technology education and training from middle school to post-doctoral levels, in an education, business and research environment.

The College’s academic program, the business incubator and the business park will mutually support each other and other business in the I-270 Technology Corridor, with education and training in the latest advances in biosciences and high technology, opportunities for entrepreneurship and a ready supply of highly skilled employees and job opportunities.

For more information about the Montgomery College Germantown Campus Development Project, please contact Dr. Hercules Pinkney, vice president and provost of the Montgomery College Germantown Campus at 240-567-7711.

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