CANYON, TX (KFDA) - West Texas A and M University just received approval to move forward with an almost 50-million dollar project.
There's been a lot of growth in the works for WT the past few months. And action by the Board of regents yesterday means there is much more to come.
The agriculture and science building on WT's campus houses more than just Ag and science courses, but that is not by choice. Lack of space has been an ongoing issue, but yesterday came a light at the end of the tunnel.
The board of regents has approved the construction of a brand new, multimillion dollar facility.
"It's a big deal for us because the building you're in now, where we're conducting this interview is co-shared with life, earth, environmental science, chemistry, physics, Ag and we're out of space. So Ag has grown. Our population of students...our enrollment has doubled in Ag in the last decade," says Dr. Dean Hawkins, Dean of the Ag and Natural Sciences college.
Regents appropriated over $48 million for construction services and related costs. Of that amount, a little over $38 million will come from tuition revenue bonds, and the remaining will come from fund-raising and donors. Faculty will also be doubled in the complex, bringing in more job opportunities.
"It's going to be a great complex. It's going to have faculty offices, classrooms, a new meats laboratory, animal handling pavilion and a covered arena as well, so it'll be a huge change for WT," says Hawkins.
The building has been shot to the top of the priority list of construction projects to be done in the A & M system. It will be constructed here on this piece of land that will cover over 140,000 square feet including the arena.
And officials are hoping for growth in other areas because of the new addition.
"We plan on our enrollment probably doubling in Ag shortly after the building is built. We're in the epicenter of agriculture, animal agriculture specifically and dry land agriculture in the nation, and so it will be a focal point and we think our enrollment will double quickly."
The anticipated date for completion is May of 2018 and it is set to open for classes July of 2018.