MCHENRY — Garrett College will use more than $110,500 in funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission to purchase STEM equipment and improve internet access and information technology infrastructure.

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both D-Md., announced the funding Thursday.

“The college greatly appreciates the commitment to state-of-the-art STEM technology this grant represents,” Richard Midcap, Garrett College president, said Friday.

More than half of the funding, $60,543, will be used to purchase a convertible anatomage table. That amount will be matched by state funding.

“This virtual dissection table, which is being adopted by four-year universities and medical schools, is a 3D human anatomy system that will bring biology and anatomy alive to our students,” Midcap said.

The table will be utilized in the school’s new STEM building, which is slated to open in September 2018. The facility will bring together STEM equipment and programming to serve over 700 students in the first three years alone.

The new table will not only serve Garrett College students but also allow regional and local hospitals, including the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, Garrett Regional Medical Center and Potomac Valley Hospital, to train and retrain health professionals.

“This grant will help Garret College prepare its students to compete in the 21st century workforce and industries that are the success of our national and state economies,” Cardin said. “Investments into STEM education are the first step in securing a bright future for our students and our state.”

The remaining funding, $50,000, will allow Garrett College to upgrade its information technology equipment to improve internet speed, access, security and reliability across campus.

“Internet speed, access, security and reliability are expectations of both students and college employees,” Midcap said. “The I.T. grant will help ensure that the college has the infrastructure necessary to meet those expectations.”

The project will focus on expanding wireless coverage for students and community members who use the campus to host community events. The project is expected to serve 5,700 students and 500 community members annually.

“A strong economy in Garrett County and across the state starts with a strong education,” Van Hollen said. “This funding achieves two important goals. It will allow Garrett College to better serve its students and the community through upgraded technology and IT infrastructure, and it will ensure access to STEM education that will put our students on the path to high-paying, in-demand careers.”

CUMBERLAND TIMES-NEWS, ctn@times-news.com

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