If Marc Nigiliazzo wants to see a sign that Texas A&M University-Central Texas is growing, all he needs to do is look out his office window.
From his view at Founder’s Hall, Nigiliazzo, the university’s president, can watch construction crews work to complete the second building at A&M-Central Texas’ campus.
“It’s really going to be a spectacular facility,” said Nigiliazzo, standing at the window and pointing to the site. “I think our students are really going to enjoy it.”
As the university nears the one-year anniversary of the Founder’s Hall opening, work on the yet-to-be-named second building is ahead of schedule, under budget and set to open to students by fall 2014.
The new building will consist of four floors and cover more than 140,000 square feet, making it larger than the 103,000-square-foot Founder’s Hall. The estimated cost of the building was initially budgeted at $50 million, but Nigiliazzo said the university expects the project to come in under budget at about $38 million.
The building will feature a two-floor library, a large lecture hall, computer labs, conference rooms, two biology laboratories, a chemistry laboratory and an outdoor terrace.
Office space and state-of-the-art classrooms will be provided for the university’s education and psychology programs, which currently operate off site at A&M-Central Texas’ Fairway building in north Killeen.
The new building will provide space for the university’s mental health and counseling center, as well as office locations for A&M-Central Texas’ business office and human resources department, currently located at Central Texas College’s Killeen campus.
“First and foremost this facility will allow us to consolidate our campus,” Nigiliazzo said. “There’s no question that the permanence and quality of the facilities we have built are sending a powerful message.”
One that Nigiliazzo said has resonated with students considering enrolling at the university.
“These buildings are actually attracting enrollment,” he said. “They show that this is a permanent home for TAMUCT. They see that we’re not going to move; we’re not going to change our name. We are here to stay.”
As the university works to complete its second building, it also is waiting to see if state lawmakers will approve funding for a third. Currently, A&M-Central Texas has asked Texas legislators to earmark $50 million for a third facility, but a state budget has yet to be passed.
Plans for the third building would tentatively include additional science labs, instructional facilities for physical and mental health and wellness programs and possibly a fitness center.
Contact Chris McGuinness at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.