Construction of the College of Southern Maryland's new Prince Frederick campus passed another milestone this week with the placing of a cornerstone on the site's flagship building.
State, local and college officials attended Tuesday afternoon's cornerstone ceremony at the 75-acre campus off Route 231 at Williams Road between Prince Frederick and Barstow.
The ceremony, overseen by members of the Prince Frederick Masonic Lodge, included the sealing of a time capsule containing assorted proclamations and memorabilia.
The capsule is scheduled to be opened 50 years from now.
The ceremony came roughly two years after many of the same officials watched the first shovels of dirt turned at the site. The building is scheduled to open during the 2004-05 school year, college administrators said.
Calvert Commissioners President David F. Hale (R-Owings), one of the elected officials present Tuesday, acknowledged that the project has faced many obstacles.
Those ranged from smaller details, such as questions of where to place utilities and situate the road to the school, to having to move an old tobacco barn from the campus site.
"Nothing about this has been easy," Hale said at the ceremony.
The campus project's cost has been estimated at $18 million, with 75 percent of the funding coming from the state and 25 percent from the county. "It's definitely a testament to the persistence on the college's part," Hale said.
The structure is part of the first phase of the campus master plan, which calls for a two-story building with 56,000 square feet of classroom and other space.
College officials said enrollment at the school's current Calvert campus near Port Republic has increased 24 percent over the past four years.
The campus master plan envisions five buildings on the new campus.
Calvert County has earmarked about $5.8 million in local funds for the campus.
The community college in Calvert has been operating in a one-story building on Broomes Island Road. Community college operations in Calvert first started in 1980 in two trailers in the parking lot at Calvert High School.
The flagship building is designed to accommodate 1,500 students and contain 17 classrooms, according to the college, with several specialized rooms for art, science, nursing and computer science.