On Friday, November 11th, the University of Maryland System of Maryland (UMSM) Board of Regents approved a lease agreement with the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). This new Southern Maryland campus at USMSM will provide services and programs for children with special needs right here in our community. Families throughout Southern Maryland will be able to place their children in programs designed to fit their child’s specific educational needs and not have to worry about long bus rides and the resulting impact on their family life.
I have been proud to work with the Kennedy Krieger Institute for the past several years to advance this important project and I am incredibly grateful for the many partners from across the State who assisted in bringing this to fruition. The diligence of President Dr. Bradley Schlagger and the entire leadership team from the Kennedy Krieger Institute were key in this concept’s inception from the start less than three years ago.
Making this project a reality for our community would not have been possible without the support of Delegate Rachel Jones, St. Mary’s County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. J. Scott Smith along with all the Superintendents of our Southern Maryland school systems, our Southern Maryland County Commissioners, the Southern Maryland Delegation, and the leadership of General Assembly, particularly Senate President Bill Ferguson and Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair Senator Craig Zucker, both who took a special interest in this project for our community and students. I appreciate the guidance from John Bohannan throughout this project, and the significant support of Congressman Steny Hoyer along with KKI’s Board Chair, Dr. Nancy Grasmick. Additionally, I want to be sure to share my heartfelt appreciation for the Board of Regents and the University of Maryland at Southern Maryland for their partnership as we create this facility for our students.
This significant accomplishment is another example of everyone working together to offer permanent solutions for the citizens of Southern Maryland. It has been a great honor to help lead this effort to ensure that our Southern Maryland students with special needs can receive the services they deserve.