TAMUS approves nearly $54 million to WTAMU to bring life to ‘Old Ed’
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved yesterday two major infrastructure projects for West Texas A&M University totaling nearly $54 million.
The Geneva Schaeffer Education Building renovation, approved for $44.9 million, and $8.9 million for the Bain Athletic Center expansion project.
The Education Building, also known as ‘Old Ed,’ is the second-oldest building on campus, officially opening October 19, 1928 and has sat vacant for many years.
The renovations will allow for better education for online students.
“A significant portion of our students who are students that study online and more and more we expect students to be studying online. and what this facility will do will allow us to provide the kind of educational opportunity that is specifically tailored to online students,” said Dr. Walter V. Wendler, President of West Texas A&M University.
Plans for the renovations of the Geneva Schaeffer Education Building will bring additional video studios, production studios for online courses and support spaces.
The new facility will offer online classes a more immersive learning experience for students.
“Not just zoom meetings, you know that’s okay for a meeting but for online education, we need different kinds of course materials, digital materials, all kinds of support that will enliven the educational experience like a good lecture can do,” said Dr. Walter V. Wendler.
WT also plans to use the building for the WT Graduate School, due to the significant growth it has achieved in the past five years. Plans call for new spaces for research and new areas to connect with off-campus students and potential new students.
“There’ll be a lot of different kinds of students that we’ll be able to reach through that facility. With first class, high quality graduate education,” said Dr. Walter V. Wendler.
Dr. Wendler says bringing life back into the building will boost WT ‘s prestige.
“We’ll make the very best of our place right here in the Texas Panhandle in Canyon, Texas, and that is going to take us through the wire around the world,” said Dr. Walter V. Wendler.
WTAMU is still in the process of selecting an architect firm and construction company for the project.
The Bain Athletic Center, named after longtime WT supporters Ray and Barbara Bain, will allow coaches, staff and student workers in WT Athletics to have one meeting spot, they currently are spread across eight different buildings on campus.
The Athletic Center facility is in Phase III of construction. The facility will house sports performance, sports medicine, football and Olympic sport offices, academic success programs, team meeting rooms and the Hall of Champions.
Nearly nine million will be allocated for the Bain-Schaffer Athletic Center expansion which is expected to be completed in February of 2024.
“They’re in the Old Sub, which is not really suited perfectly for those activities that intercollegiate athletics needs. They’re in the activity center. They’re in multiple locations, and this will combine them into an organized group that has a central a focal point,” said Dr. Walter V. Wendler.
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