News Release, College of Southern Maryland
Funding Will Provide Interior Renovation and Build Out Indian Head Technology Hub
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today joined Rural Maryland Council Board First Vice Chair John Hartline to present College of Southern Maryland (CSM) President Dr. Maureen Murphy and the CSM Board of Trustees with a $350,000 Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund award to complete interior renovations and build-out of CSM’s Velocity Center. It is the largest single grant that the Rural Maryland Council has awarded through this fund over the past four years.
The CSM Velocity Center at Indian Head is a unique facility promoting collaboration between CSM and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (IHEODTD). Its purpose is to provide professional development for Navy scientists, engineers and employees to enhance the retention of talent, offer opportunities for entrepreneurship and experimentation, recruit young talent, and build goodwill among the community outside the gate of NSWC IHEODTD.
“Our administration is proud to have committed – historically high funding – to grow and revitalize Maryland’s rural communities and today, through projects like the College of Southern Maryland Velocity Center, we are seeing the benefits of that record investment,” Hogan told the packed room of state, regional and local officials. “This exciting new facility will serve as a space for innovation and collaboration for CSM, for the Navy, for Indian Head and for the entire community.”
The governor congratulated CSM for promoting professional development for Navy scientists and engineers and attracting new, young talent and by providing greater economic development opportunities.
“This incredible project is the result of years of collaborative effort and it is a shining example of what is possible when government, our colleges and universities and the local communities work together,” Hogan said.
“This is an exciting day for CSM for three very big reasons, first being our Governor Hogan is here!” CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy told the crowd. “Secondly, our partner, the Rural Maryland Council is here to make an exciting announcement about their support of the CSM Velocity Center. And, thirdly… This morning, it was announced that the College of Southern Maryland was named an Aspen Prize Top 150 Community College, which, for us, is like being nominated for an Oscar.” (See “Aspen Institute Names College of Southern Maryland as a Top 150 U.S. Community College Eligible for 2021 Aspen Prize” at news.csmd.edu.)
“Our goal for the CSM Velocity Center is that it acts as a catalyst for economic growth that promotes the well-being of the people of Indian Head while honoring the town’s rural heritage and beautiful natural resources,” she added.
“What is happening here is workforce development,” echoed Rural Maryland Council Board First Vice Chair John Hartline.
“We are all standing here together,” shared Maryland Delegate C.T. Wilson. “We do things together, that’s how this got made. Take that home – tell your friends. Things aren’t as bad as they seem. This building is proof of that.”
NSWC IHEODTD Commander Capt. Scott Kraft thanked CSM leadership for their “steadfast commitment to taking the Velocity Center to the finish line.” The 15,000-plus square feet facility is just outside the entrance gates of the Indian Head Navy base.
“Our base is in the midst of a naval energetics renaissance to reinvigorate energetics research to meet current and future operation challenges,” Kraft said. “At the heart of this renaissance is our people and their ability to foster innovation. The CSM Velocity Center will provide us with an opportunity to help create an environment for innovation, technological workforce development, prototyping, student outreach and technology transfer initiatives.”
Making reference to the movie “Field of Dreams,” Kraft added, “We all have built it, and we will come, and we will come often and frequently!”
The CSM Velocity Center will have dedicated space for Navy research, ideation, and design supporting small learning workshops and seminars, vendors’ showcases, and use of visualization tools while maximizing the technology transfer of dual-use technologies and supporting educational partnerships. Within this space, CSM will also host classes such as computer-aided design, cybersecurity, digital photography, drones/small unmanned aircraft systems, governmental procurement, social entrepreneurship, and tech transfer entrepreneurship, among others.
Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin wrapped up the celebration by offering high praise for the immeasurable economic development value that the CSM Velocity Center will bring to his town.
“Often bumpy roads lead to beautiful places. And this is a beautiful place,” Paulin said quoting Nationals Manager Davey Martinez.
The Velocity Center is anticipated to be opened during spring 2020, and Paulin said its opening corresponds with the Town of Indian Head’s 100 birthday. “What a great way to celebrate during our 100th,” he said.
In 2017, CSM was awarded a $500,000 endowment as one of three academic recipients of the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Maryland E-Novation Initiative Fund (MEIF), a state program created to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the state’s colleges and universities. CSM is the first community college to receive this prestigious award. CSM has also received state funding for the interior build-out of the warehouse space.