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Construction expected to be complete in May


Staff writer

The county commissioners had one question after touring the soon-to-be-completed second building at the College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick Campus: When will it be finished?

On Tuesday afternoon, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners and Vice President of CSM and Dean of the Prince Frederick Campus Richard Fleming toured the building, currently under construction, and learned the grand opening is set for June 11.

“It’s gorgeous,” Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) said of the 30,000-square-foot building, a sentiment echoed by the other commissioners on the tour and some of the county staff.

The more-than-$10 million building includes a 3,000-square-foot multipurpose space that Fleming said will have “a lot” of flexibility. The room can be subdivided up to three times into smaller rooms.

“It’s certainly going to be the best in Calvert County,” Fleming said, “and the only meeting space in the center of the county.”

He said the space will not be used for social events, but for CSM’s partners, nonprofits, educational events and various other business-like meetings and events. He said the focus of the room is education and business. Beside the space is a small food-preparation area for caterers, Fleming said.

“It’s not going to compete with Chesapeake Beach and Solomons,” Fleming said, speaking of the Rod’N’Reel Restaurant in Chesapeake Beach and the Hilton Garden Inn in Dowell.

The room is already being booked for events this summer, he said.

The existing building is at 90 percent capacity, Fleming said, adding that the new building will be adding “one-third more classes than we have now.”

In addition to the classrooms and offices, there is a 3,000-square-foot Nuclear Engineering Technicians Training Center in the new building. The nuclear engineering program lab and classroom will house eight simulators for CSM’s nuclear engineering program they have in conjunction with Constellation Energy Nuclear Group.

The new “B” Building will be the only gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified building in Southern Maryland, Fleming said, explaining that the building’s roof is made of a succulent material that retains about 80 to 90 percent of water runoff. LEED-certified buildings are designed to lower operating costs, increase asset value, reduce waste, conserve energy and water, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives, according to the U.S. Green Building Council website.

The “green roof” is made of sedum, a “very hardy,” green and purple, succulent plant. There will be “practically no runoff,” Fleming told the commissioners.

He said if the rains do “get bad” and there’s too much water, there are drains under the green roof that go to any of the 30 bioretention ponds on the property where other landscaping will soak up the water.

“There’s practically no water ever really leaving this site,” Fleming said, explaining that the parking lot is designed to drain into the bioretention ponds as well.

A 1,000-square-foot fitness center will replace the current 600-square-foot one in the existing building. The new fitness center will include showers, lockers and a rubberized cushion floor.

All of the furniture coming into the new building is brand new, Fleming said when one of the commissioners asked if furniture would be moving from the existing building. He said the furniture cost just more than $1 million.

Construction of the building is anticpated to be complete in May.