Tarleton continues construction, plans for future projects

Rachel Tuggle

TheFlashToday.com

STEPHENVILLE (August 1, 2016) – Tarleton State University continues to complete new dorms, parking lots and various other projects as student move-in days approach.

And officials say the university is also looking to the future with new projects set to begin next year.

The most obvious construction are the three new residential halls being built – Traditions North, Traditions South and Honors Hall. While students have been relocated to Bosque Crossing Apartments in one of the Traditions residence halls, the other two residence halls are scheduled to be ready for students to move in next month. Students relocated to Bosque Crossing Apartments can expect to be moved into the delayed residence hall by January 2017. Building residence halls similar to these require a professional hang to ensure that construction is underway, with projects using someone similar to these Lewis And Van Vleet Structural engineers to help create residents, and commercial properties.

“Balfour-Beatty made the decision to basically focus on the other two [residence halls] in order to get them done,” Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications Harry Battson said. “We got set back quite a bit by all the rain from this spring. There were just days and days when the construction crews really had very little they could do, especially with the outdoor projects.”

Another project currently under construction that Battson said is “not quite so visible as a new building” – the pedestrian walkway and utility infrastructure project. Closed roads on campus such as Lillian and Vanderbilt will become pedestrian malls for students, and wet and dry utilities are being moved underground. Construction for this project is expected to be completed in 2017.

“That’s going to make the campus so much more walkable,” Battson said. “At the same time, it’s going to make things more attractive by burying the utilities underground so you won’t see the poles. We are going to have infrastructure that will better support the university and have less flooding on campus during heavy rainstorms.”

At the Tarleton State Agricultural Center, a 24,000 square foot agricultural and mechanical fabrication building is being built, which is expected to be completed this fall.

“That’s going to be a facility that will enable us to move some equipment and things that have been housed at the athletic complex,” Battson said. “It will just greatly enhance the agricultural program. We will start moving things in and opening it for class in January.”

Additionally, the parking lot, cross walk, fire station renovation and turf fields are continuing on schedule and should be complete in August.

In May 2016, Tarleton expects to begin building the three-story Engineering Building. It will be built in P30, the residential lot west of Davis Hall along Washington Street by Dairy Queen. The Engineering Building will hold offices, classrooms and laboratory space. Construction is expected to be completed by November of 2018.

“It’s really a major step forward toward our moving to a school of engineering and engineering technology,” Battson said. “Eventually we see that this has the potential to become another college here.”

After beginning construction on the Engineering Building, Tarleton will begin its $24-million Memorial Stadium renovation project in May 2017. The stadium will remain open for football games while under construction. The home and visitor sides will switch and a press box, suites and more individual seats will be added, along with other amenities.

“We are going to expand it to almost 10,000 seats,” Battson said.

Tarleton is also designing a master plan for the Agricultural Center after the current center was damaged by the storms last spring.

“The question is do we want to try to restore those buildings or do we demolish those buildings and look at building some new buildings?” Battson said. “We hope to approach the legislature this year for $15 million to build a new building out there.”

Battson said the university will continue to work to notify people in advance of blocked walkways, parking lots and roads as construction continues.

“With all this construction going on, it can sometimes create inconvenience or not be as pretty as we normally like things to be,” Battson concluded. “I think the major issue is that we need to make sure we understand when all this construction is done, people are going to be pleasantly surprised with how beautiful it is going to be.”


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