Construction underway for Frank Phillips campus in Dalhart

Construction underway for Frank Phillips campus in Dalhart
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

DALHART, TX (KFDA) - Construction is non stop in the community of Dalhart as construction crews continue to work the land, move the ground and prepare for a new Frank Phillips College (FPC) campus.

Two Dalhart residents, Louise and Gene Rahll, gifted the college a $4 million donation and 70% of Dallam County residents approved a 5¢ tax increase to help maintain and operate the new campus.

As phase one continues construction, students continue to attend the current campus which they've outgrown.

"The building we are currently in is an older building and so we have all of the challenges that go with having an older building," Ilene Walton, the director of the Dalhart FPC said. "The classrooms are small. The building was not created for an educational facility. We have been so grateful for it and we have been able to make due with it, but we are at the max of what we can offer at this time."

Walton says the new campus is a great opportunity for both traditional and non traditional students.

"We have many students that graduate from high school and go right into the rich job market here," Walton said. "Really a lot of students need to stay around in order to fulfill the needs here. They can get the best of both worlds.They get to stay in the area and continue to work for the companies that have employed them and continue their education."

Dallam County Judge Wes Ritchey agrees this new development will have a huge impact for students and a number of large Dalhart employers.

"You have the economic explosion that has happened to Dalhart. With Hilmar Cheese, Larson Farms, and JBS Farms we have a continual need for those people in management trainee programs and continuing education," Ritchey said. "All of those courses are in routing through the FPC junior college."

The 25,000 square foot building will be equipped with 29 classrooms, a health science simulation lab, and a science lab.

The new Frank Phillips College is expected to be complete by April 2018.

Officials say students could be walking the new hallways and taking courses by April 2018.

Copyright 2017 KFDA. All rights reserved.