Tarleton State University continued its yearlong centennial celebration as a founding member of The Texas A&M University System with groundbreaking ceremonies for a $54 million engineering building.
Originally referred to as the applied sciences building, the 97,800-square-foot facility will provide space for many programs currently housed in several facilities across the Stephenville campus, including the civil engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, engineering technology and newly approved mechanical engineering degree programs.
“This new state-of-the-art building puts Tarleton’s engineering, engineering technology and computer science programs at the forefront of educational delivery for these disciplines,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp, “addressing current needs and providing space and flexibility for future growth.”
The number of Tarleton engineering, engineering technology and computer science students has doubled since 2010, according to President F. Dominic Dottavio, and continued enrollment growth is projected as Tarleton aids in meeting the need for highly skilled engineering professionals in Texas.
“Thanks to a number of corporate and small business partnerships that give our students the opportunity to solve real-world work challenges during their senior year, Tarleton’s engineering, engineering technology and computer science graduates are in high demand,” he explained.
Part of Tarleton’s Fiscal Year 2017-2020 Capital Plan approved last fall by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, the new engineering building will be located between Lillian and St. Peter streets—north of Washington Street—on a portion of what is now Lot P30. Completion is set for late fall of 2018. The 84th Texas Legislature approved the bond funding in 2015.
Heavy-use and high bay labs—with main corridors wide enough to move materials and equipment by forklift—classrooms and offices will be found on the first floor of the new three-story facility. Innovative classrooms, a robotics lab, a prototyping lab, a fluids and materials testing lab (including a flume and wind tunnel), computer labs and offices will be located on the upper floors.
“As Tarleton’s engineering, engineering technology and computer science programs continue to grow, there are plans to establish a School of Engineering and later a College of Engineering,” Sharp said. “When that time comes, Tarleton will be ready.”
Stantec is the architect, and BE&K is the general contractor for the project.