Jun. 30—Howard Community College held a groundbreaking celebration for its planned mathematics and athletics complex earlier this month, with construction scheduled to start later this summer.
Fusing creativity and innovation, the complex, which is estimated to be completed in 2024, will serve as a combined approach to serve students and the community.
The complex, which will be built on the south side of the campus on the site of the current athletics and fitness center, will be four floors and 193,000 square feet, according to a news release.
Totaling $101.7 million, the project is funded by Howard County and the state of Maryland.
Lynn Coleman, vice president of administration and finance, said the college decided to build the complex to better address the students' athletic and educational needs.
"The math building that we currently have is housed in an old office building and our gym was built in 1969," Coleman said. "We started noticing that some other campuses had built what are known as 'fused facilities,' so we combined the two of them together and that's how the building came about."
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The complex will feature class labs, a maker space, a math learning center, a research area and a study lounge, while the athletics area will include a classroom, a competition gym, a fitness center, locker rooms, a multipurpose gym, and a strength and conditioning room.
"I appreciate your support of the college and our future mathematics and athletics complex, which — when finished — will be the next gem in the crown of our beautiful campus," Dr. Kathleen Hetherington, president of Howard Community College, said in a statement.
Student-athletes at the college compete in seven sports — basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball — and three esports, including League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League.
Coleman said she believes the complex will change the athletic and educational experience at the community college, which first opened its doors in 1970.
"I really think it will help attract more student athletes and will add for students an experience they didn't have before," she said.
Howard Community College, which is gradually reopening this summer on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic, will return a fully operational campus in the fall, according to the school's website. When the fall semester begins Aug. 28, the college plans to offer fully in-person services and courses, as well as the continuation of hybrid and fully virtual courses.