AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Construction for phase one of the new West Texas A&M (WTAMU) center in downtown Amarillo is almost complete.
Phase one focuses on remodeling the exterior of the former commerce building.
Final touches include installing windows and finishing the design, which will resemble WT's Old Main building.
Right now, the center is still operating out of the Chase Tower where it has been for the past 9 years.
The new building will help the university not only expand its services but also accommodate both students and residents.
"We do have several departments with the center now, and so we are all going to be under one roof and that is going to be really good for people who want to come and visit us," Julie Imke, the director of the WTAMU Amarillo center said.
Imke says the 100,000 square feet area will allow the university to keep courses in one area unlike its current 50,000 square feet area.
The bigger space will also allow WT to offer more programs in Amarillo like its instructional and technology program.
Officials say WT's entire Special Ed department will be permanently moving into the new center along with the Counseling department and the Communication Disorder department.
"The entire Communication Disorders program is moving from the Canyon campus to Amarillo," Amy Anderson, WTAMU's Associate Provost said. "This move will be great because all of our students both undergrad and grad will be down there. We also have a clinic where we serve patients with hearing and speech disorders."
Anderson says this move will make their presence in Amarillo even stronger and gives WT an opportunity to grow.
"We're just very excited to be part of that vital downtown area as it is being rejuvenated and new life is coming down there," Anderson said.
Anderson expects to be moving into the center by Summer 2018 and have students walking down the halls by Fall 2018.
Phase two of this project should begin within the next couple of weeks.