STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University today celebrated the opening of its high-tech 97,000-square-foot Engineering Building with a ribbon cutting, tours and remarks from community leaders, legislators and Texas A&M University officials.
Home to Tarleton’s School of Engineering, the $54 million facility is the university’s new hub for education, research and innovation in engineering, engineering technology, computer science and construction science. It also brings together programs formerly scattered across the Stephenville campus.
“This new state-of-the-art building puts Tarleton’s School of Engineering at the forefront of educational delivery and research,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “We’re excited how it addresses current needs and provides space and flexibility for growth.”
Elaine Mendoza, chairman of the A&M System Board of Regents, called the building and its research- and industry-grade equipment a significant investment by the state to expand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the future of engineering. “This will provide unique learning opportunities for students, attract top academic talent and strengthen Tarleton’s ties with North Texas industries and businesses.”
The 84th Legislature approved bond funding for the three-story facility in 2015.
The first floor emphasizes high-bay laboratories featuring industry-standard manufacturing, materials and construction spaces as well as CAD and automation labs, a thermo-fluids lab and a project build space. Robotics, controls and electronics labs fill the upper floors along with a prototyping lab, environmental chemistry lab and numerous computer labs. The hallways will build community by providing study areas, collaboration stations, open-access computers and plenty of whiteboards.
“This is an extraordinarily important building, positioning the university as a leader in engineering education and research,” said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. “It inspires innovation and fosters the kind of hands-on, experiential learning that motivates students to think outside the box.”
Dottavio noted that the number of Tarleton engineering, engineering technology, computer science and construction science students has doubled since 2010 and that continued enrollment growth is projected as the university helps meet the need for highly skilled professionals in Texas and beyond. He added:
“Thanks to a number of corporate and business partnerships that give our students the opportunity to solve true-to-life work challenges their senior year, Tarleton’s School of Engineering graduates are in high demand.”
The growth in Tarleton’s School of Engineering programs — 12 undergraduate and graduate degree options — supports the 60×30 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s priority to have 60 percent of young adults in Texas earn a higher education credential by 2030.
“This is a great time to be an engineering student at Tarleton State University,” said state Rep. DeWayne Burns (District 58). “One step into this remarkable new facility and you realize it’s no ordinary building. It’s a place where students and faculty will work together to create solutions that make our world a better place.”
Part of Tarleton’s Fiscal Year 2017-2020 Capital Plan, the Engineering Building is located between Lillian and St. Peter streets, north of Washington Street.
Stantec is the architect, and BE&K the general contractor.
For more information on Tarleton’s School of Engineering, visit www.tarleton.edu/engineering.