When speaking about the Maryland smart growth program that he helped create more than 10 years ago, former Governor Parris Glendening is fond of telling the story of how the state’s decision to locate a University of Maryland campus in downtown Hagerstown sparked revitalization of the traditional town center. Just a couple of weeks ago, he was invited back to Hagerstown by university and city officials to see those effects firsthand as the campus is thriving and downtown is surging.
“When we started our statewide smart growth program in Maryland,” Glendening said while touring the facility, “a major goal was simply to save money by using our existing assets and infrastructure rather than spending state funds to subside new sprawl on the far reaches of our beautiful and historic cities. Through one simple decision — siting the campus downtown and reusing an historic building rather than building anew in a place where the students would have cows for neighbors — the state saved money in the long run and helped stimulate investment and bring a renaissance to one of Maryland’s historic cities.”
Read more about the Governor’s visit to the campus in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. You can also see a video on that page of the Governor telling part of the campus’s story.
Photos of downtown Hagerstown and the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown campus