MC Invests in the Sciences

Original: February 8, 2011 Issue 10

By: Whitney De Valroger

Staff Writer


Germantown campus scheduled to build hospital and bioscience center

Take a look around the Rockville Montgomery College. You may notice a few new developments. The Science Center, opening Fall 2011, towers over the rest of the campus. In addition to renovating the East and West Science buildings later this year, Rockville campus will receive a new architectural aesthetic. Soon, the Germantown campus will follow suit.

It is no secret that the field of science is advancing at an exponential rate. The entire mapping of the human genome was completed just seven years ago. Work on this monumental achievement was initiated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and jointly managed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), located in Montgomery County. Since then, there has been a bioscience boom in Maryland, which presently boasts 380 bioscience companies.

Montgomery County is home to the third largest concentration of biotechnology firms in the country, aptly earning the nickname “DNA Alley.” The Germantown Montgomery College campus is readying itself to take full advantage of this rich and intellectual atmosphere by building a new Bioscience Education Center as part of the larger Science and Technology Park.

The new center is being built to complement the as of now completed Innovation Center, a building that not only provides additional classrooms, but is committed to providing emerging technology and life science companies the ability to grow and develop. The new bioscience center will be a 127,000 square foot facility that will cost 79 million dollars. The center will house 18 science labs to accommodate different studies, from robotics to bio manufacturing. Along with numerous rooms for classes and faculty, there will be an 11,000 square foot conference center with a capacity of 400 individuals.

In addition to the Bioscience Education Center there will be a fully operational hospital. Holy Cross Hospital, at 237,000 square feet, will provide 93 beds, 12 emergency beds, 5 operating rooms, and 5 labor and delivery rooms. The hospital’s projected cost is 202 million dollars and will generate 1,500 new jobs. Proximity to the Montgomery College campus will provide an opportunity for medical students to gain valuable real world experience. “Holy Cross has pledged funding to support college programs and students, clinical rotations at the new Germantown hospital and fully-funded staff to serve as faculty,” said Yolanda Gaskins Public Information Officer for Holy Cross.

Beginning of construction for the Bioscience Education Center is scheduled for March 7, 2011, with the ground breaking at 10:00 AM. The Holy Cross Hospital is expected to be fully constructed by late 2013.

This new initiative to incorporate real world business with higher education is a stepping stone that will prepare the Montgomery College student body with the experience and education needed to succeed. The hope is that these new facilities will create a highly trained work force and prepare the next generation of future innovators. If you think the Rockville campus has changed, just wait for the Germantown campus renaissance.