Officials from Johns Hopkins University briefed the Gaithersburg City Council last week on the progress of the campus expansion project.
While the council members were generally enthusiastic about the project, officially known as the Greater Seneca Science Corridor, they did raise questions about the integral Corridor Cities Transitway, which completion of the project depends on.
"Key to the whole area is the CCT," said David McDonough, JHU's Senior Director for Development Oversight and Real Estate.
The final stages of the Greater Seneca Science Corridor's development depend on the CCT being funded. The rail line is competing for federal funding with the Red Line in Baltimore and the Purple Line in Prince George's County.
The transit line could cost between $460 million and $1 billion.
McDonough said that while state transit officials are considering either a light rail or bus rapid transit option for the public transport line that will wind it's way from the Shady Grove Metro northwest to Clarksburg, JHU favors the initially cheaper bus option.
"Where are we with the CCT?" City Councilman Jud Ashman asked. "What is Hopkins doing to advocate?"
McDonough said the university set aside land in it's preliminary plan as a right-of-way for the CCT on both the Life Sciences Center campus and the Belward research campus.
The Science Corridor project will include the completion of a building for the National Cancer Institute on the Life Sciences Center campus next to JHU, and a 108-acre research campus on the .
Some in the community have also come out against the plan, specifically the , saying it is too expansive.
The Greater Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan was approved by the County Council in May 2010, and the Belward Campus preliminary and concept plans were approved by the County Planning Board on Nov. 2, 2011.
Next, JHU will submit a site plan for buildings at the Belward campus at a date yet to be determined.
The 900-acre master plan area, formerly known as the Gaithersburg West Master Plan, is outside the city limits.