State funding will help higher education, the arts and downtown Hagerstown revitalization

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Governor Larry Hogan presented his Fiscal Year ’21 budget to the General Assembly this week and localities are taking a hard look at what’s in it for them.

In Hagerstown, higher education, the arts, and downtown revitalization are the big winners. Hagerstown Community College will spend the $10 million it has coming — some of which is from an accounting error last year — on campus security, lower tuition, and tools for students that prepare them for the workforce.

School president, Dr. Jim Klauber, says the school is investing in technology that students can expect to encounter when they go into the workforce.

The arts district in Hagerstown will also benefit from the funding from Annapolis. An Urban Improvement grant of $2.5 million will modernize the downtown Maryland Theatre, anchor to the Arts District at the center of downtown.

All this funding is on paper right now, and there are line items for the public library system, public safety, parks and recreation, and targeted infrastructure. But the legislature has two-and-a-half months to sign off on the governor’s spending blueprint. With two area senators on the Budget Committee, though, hopes are high the check will soon be in the mail.

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