Military Alliance Council Partners with College of Southern Maryland to Receive Maryland Strategic Demolition Funds
News Release, College of Southern Maryland
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization has awarded $500,000 to the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Military Alliance Council (MAC) for the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Velocity Center at Indian Head. Funded through DHCD’s Strategic Demolition Fund, the college’s project is the only project from Charles County among the 58 Neighborhood Revitalization Awards totaling $6 million across the state announced in December.
“Our administration is proud to have committed historically high funding to grow and revitalize Maryland’s rural communities, and through the Velocity Center we are seeing the benefits of that record investment,” said Maryland Governor Hogan. “This incredible project is a shining example of what is possible when government, our colleges and universities, and the local community work together, and another reason why Maryland is consistently ranked as one of the most innovative states in America.”
The DHCD’s Strategic Demolition Fund focuses on projects that will accelerate economic development and impact revitalization within their communities, and are awarded to local governments or nonprofit community development organizations working outside of Baltimore City.
“Our agency was proud to partner with local stakeholders and support the development of the Velocity Center through the Strategic Demolition Fund,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Located in a designated Opportunity Zone, this vital project will help jumpstart new businesses and contribute to the economic security and growth of Indian Head.”
The CSM Velocity Center at Indian Head 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. As a catalyst for workforce development, the Velocity Center has been described as a critical part of the future creative economic development of the town of Indian Head.
“The CSM Velocity Center at Indian Head reflects the synergy among partners sharing a common vision. Through partnerships, we can transform our community, and this is exactly what we see happening through the metamorphosis of this warehouse space into the Velocity Center,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “We are grateful for our collaborators, such as the Military Alliance and the State of Maryland.”
A unique facility, the Velocity Center promotes collaboration between CSM and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (IHEODTD). A self-sustaining business model that is being designed as a space for innovation and collaboration for the college, NSWC IHEODTD and the community, 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.
“The MAC is honored to have played a part in helping the Velocity Center become a reality,” said MAC Executive Director Pam Frank. “We are grateful to the State for its commitment to the revitalization efforts of Indian Head. It takes many stakeholders at the county, state and federal level to execute a vision like the CSM Velocity Center. The community will benefit from our government, academic and industry partnerships.”
Previously the location of Ely’s Warehouse, the Velocity Center on Indian Head Highway is being renovated by the Triumph and Mid Atlantic Joint Venture to be transformed into space to be used for classrooms, offices, administration and warehouse space to accommodate the college’s needs. The Velocity Center is anticipated to be opened during spring 2020.
“The $500,000 award represents a significant investment that will move the Velocity Center toward completion. The Charles County Board of Commissioners values the continued collaboration, support and coordination with our community partners to achieve this goal,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “Indian Head’s economic development and revitalization remains a top priority for our county and Velocity Center is an essential part of our plan for facilitating the town’s growth.”
Previously, in November 2019, Rural Maryland Council awarded a $350,000 Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund award to complete interior renovations and build-out of CSM’s Velocity Center. This is the largest single grant that the Rural Maryland Council has awarded through this fund over the past four years.
CSM had also been awarded a $500,000 endowment as one of three academic recipients of the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Maryland E-Nnovation 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.
For information about CSM’s Velocity Center at Indian Head, visit https://www.csmd.edu/about/locations/velocity-center/
About the Military Alliance Council
The Military Alliance Council was established in 2015 by the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, with the support of Maryland’s Department of Commerce, to serve as a liaison between the defense and civilian communities in recognition of the important role the defense industry and the military play in the quality of life for our citizens, as well as our local economy. It is one of seven military alliances in Maryland. For information visit https://www.charlescountychamber.org/mac-military-alliance-group