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Coppin to Ask State for $42M for Science and Technology Center

Coppin State University plans to ask the state for $46 million in the 2012 General Assembly session for the design and construction of its planned Science and Technology Center.

If approved, the university in West Baltimore hopes to break ground on the $80 million center this fall, says Maqbool Patel, Coppin's associate vice president for administration and finance. The center will house the departments of natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science.

The university is currently in the process of buying more than 200 row houses in the neighborhood to make room for the center. The university has acquired 158 properties thus far, and should have all properties purchased by June, Patel says.

The historically black college wants to modernize its facilities to be able to compete with schools around the nation, says Patel, who describes Coppin's current science facilities to be "pretty poor, at best."

Patel believes that the new science and technology center will also improve Coppin's ability to recruit students, as well as help improve the school's graduation rate.

The planned building will include green technologies such as rainwater collection for irrigation and will be designed to minimize energy use.

If the project is approved in its final phase, the construction will employ up to 250. Coppin plans to encourage the participation of minority-owned businesses involved in Maryland's minority business enterprise for its construction.

Additionally, Coppin hopes to provide community access to a computer lab in the center.

Other recent constructions on Coppin’s campus include a physical education center and a health and human services building.

Coppin has 3,813 enrolled undergraduates, of which 381 are science majors. The school wants to grow enrollment 30 percent by 2019. One of the university's priorities is to increase the number of science and technology majors, research initiatives and grants.   

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Source: Maqbool Patel, Coppin State
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