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Hogan pledges $7M for western Maryland city’s downtown

HAGERSTOWN — Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging more than $7 million over five years to help the western Maryland city of Hagerstown with a downtown revitalization plan anchored by educational and arts institutions.

The Republican governor made the announcement Thursday at the Maryland Theatre, a restored, century-old venue that is part of the project.

The $30 million plan includes adding a glass-and brick entrance to the theater, which lost its grand facade to a fire in 1974.

The plan also includes expanding both a University System of Maryland education center and an arts-oriented public high school.

The funding commitment comes 17 years after then-governor Parris Glendening ordered the university center built inside vacant downtown buildings rather than in a new complex on the city’s outskirts as part of his “smart growth” program.