Texas Colleges Building for the Future with Construction Projects

As unemployment numbers continue to rise, some of those left jobless are returning to colleges and universities for training for a new trade or simply to make themselves more competitive in their job search. Universities are also repositioning themselves in places such as Texas, where colleges have a number of expansion projects on tap. The next 24 months at the University of Texas Dallas campus in the Dallas suburb of Richardson will bring more than $130 million in new projects including new classrooms, a student residence and dining hall as well as a campus landscape project that will change the fundamental look of the UTD campus. “The facility upgrades are designed to elevate the campus as one of the top tech university campuses in the nation,” Thomas Lund, senior project manager in the UT system’s office of facility planning construction, told CPN. “We are trying to grow both our student population and increase faculty numbers over the next 10 years.” Meanwhile, Texas A&M University in Bryan-College Station is in the midst of a $57 million construction program designed to help move Texas A&M forward in the world of fundamental physics and astronomy with the addition of the Mitchell Buildings, which are under construction. The Mitchell buildings and an interdisciplinary life sciences complex are the centerpieces for a $300 million campus construction program. Other campus projects in various stages of planning are an Agriculture Program State Headquarters; Emerging Technologies and Economic Development facility; Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building; Lab Animal Resources and Research (LARR) expansion; Liberal Arts, Arts and Humanities building; new campus housing; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility; Reed Arena expansion; Texas Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS); Texas Transportation Institute State Headquarters and Research Building; university apartments; Veterinary Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center and a Veterinary Medicine Building addition. Texas Tech University in the West Texas city of Lubbock has plans to start construction in June on its $70 million Rawls College of Business Administration. The project (pictured) will entail construction of a 145,000-square-foot new building for the Rawls College of Business Administration at the North Campus Gateway. The building will contain faculty/staff offices, graduate and undergraduate classrooms, and professional education spaces. Additionally, Tech has plans to renovate its College of Business Administration Classroom building with a $25 million budget. That project is slated to begin construction in August with a goal of creating a modern, high-tech, multi-purpose classroom facility. Texas Tech has another $16 million in projects in the works. And Southern Methodist University in Dallas has a number of projects underway including the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which began early this year and should be completed by summer 2010. Construction has begun on a new Caruth Hall, a four-story, 65,000-square-foot facility that will house classrooms, offices and the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education as part of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. It also will include an outdoor amphitheater, and is expected to be ready in spring 2010. Both projects are aiming for LEED silver certification.