St. Mary's County Times December 07, 2017 - Page 11

Thursday, December 7, 2017 Schools IT Project Moving Ahead By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved a school system plan on Tuesday that would solve the long- term problem of housing their informa- tion technology operation and staff at a reduced cost. Schools Superintendent Scott Smith told the commissioners that, after some revision, the project to demolish the old Bethune building which housed the IT operations in the 7 th District and move IT personnel and operations into leased space could be done for about $2 million. The Bethune building was deemed too old to handle the growing IT opera- tion for the school system and its age was considered a potential health hazard to employees there. The plan, according to the school sys- tem, is to house IT staff, equipment and work areas at leased offi ce space near Board of Education headquarters on Moakley Street and at the Department of Student Services (DSS) on Route 5. There are no additions planned for the DSS building but 2,700 square feet will be added to a warehouse on the property for storage of parts and other supplies. The original plan was to have a 12,000 square-foot addition to the warehouse, according to county capital construction plan documents. The modifi cations to the DSS build- ings are set to cost $1.5 million, while demolishing the old Bethune building is tabulated at $598,462. The entire cost of $2 million for the project is $367,203 less than the alloca- tion in the fi scal 2018 that was approved on Nov. 14, according to school system documents. The project as originally funded would have cost $3.26 million. guyleonard@countytimes.net BB&T Sponsors Bookbag to Briefcase Program St. Mary’s College of Maryland rec- ognizes BB&T and Regional President Chris Holt ‘86 for supporting the Col- lege’s Bookbag to Briefcase program as the title sponsor for the 2017-18 aca- demic year. The Bookbag to Briefcase program, formed several years ago, is designed to connect St. Mary’s College students with industry experts in small group settings. “This program has a lasting impact on our students as they develop into profes- sionals,” said Kate Shirey, director of ca- reer development at St. Mary’s College. “We thank BB&T for supporting the Bookbag to Briefcase program, making it possible to provide students with ac- cess to fi nancial literacy education, on- line learning opportunities through the BB&T Financial Foundations platform, and professional networking sessions.” Bookbag to Briefcase was re-imag- ined this year, moving away from a three-day conference format to a year- long program that provides TED Talk- style workshops, alumni panel discus- sions, and networking opportunities that are open to all students. The pro- gram also provides professional devel- opment discussions on topics including fi nancial literacy, personal budgeting and establishing credit, understanding insurance policy language, and steps to job success. Education The County Times Holt explained at a recent fi nancial literacy workshop at the College that part of BB&T’s corporate philosophy is to support its community by providing fi nancial literacy education. “At the end of the day, a business is a refl ection of its community’s strength. So we believe it’s our responsibility to invest in that