Opening Spring of 2019: The New Engineering Building

Brittainie Cason, Contributor

In spring of 2017, Tarleton State University announced the groundbreaking for a new engineering building set to open in late fall of 2018. The responses were mixed through-out the student body; the building would get rid of a lot of parking spots which made students mad. However, engineering, computer science and engineering tech students were excited because their buildings are out dated and often must be at the two buildings which are on two different ends of the campus. The new building will bring together all three disciplines under one roof and give them new equipment and spaces.

When walking on campus, students can see the building progress slowly and getting closer to completion each day. The new building catches the eye quickly with all the windows and you cannot help but stare at it sometimes. With the building located on Washington Street, when anyone drives by that will be the main thing that their eyes look at; their eyes will make their way to a big window that will feature the Tarleton logo.

“I think it’s going to be kind of a focal point… I mean it’s beautiful… a nice, attractive facility,” Dr. Denise Martinez, associate dean of the School of Engineering, stated.

With the estimated completion date coming up, engineering teachers are prepping for next semester.

“We as faculty are moving over after finals…we also didn’t want to move offices in the middle of finals and stuff, so students can still find us,” Martinez said. “We have already started the schedules for the classes next semester and they will be scheduled in the new building.”

With the new building combing the engineering, engineering tech and computer science disciplines, Martinez is looking forward to them all being under one roof.

“I must be looking forward to bringing all the programs together in the school, so we are not across campus from each other… I’m looking forward from the faculty side, the opportunities to do stuff together,” Martinez explained.

Bringing them all together, is going to make it easier for all three disciplines will be able to collaborate and further their experience working with other fields.

“In the hydrology building we only have one classroom, three computer labs and two labs, so I am excited for more classrooms and more labs,” Alyssa Searcy, junior environmental engineering student, said.

“The first floor has a lot of the engineering technology and construction kind of heavy equipment labs… and automation and CAD labs are on the first floor, second and third floor has kind of the engineering and computer science so there are I think six computer labs, four regular traditional classrooms and then specialized labs like electronics, surveying and environmental chemistry,” said Martinez.

Overall the new building is easily double the size of the one that the engineering programs are in now; however, Martinez and other faculty members wish the building was twice the size that it is.

With the new building many of the departments will also be getting new equipment.
“E.T. (engineering technology) in particular has some really old equipment that we are getting replaced with some new equipment,” Martinez said.

The equipment for engineering and engineering technology visibly shows age, and everyone is excited for the new equipment and to show it off.

“… people can see in and see all of our cool toys and all the neat things we are doing,” Martinez exclaims.

“There are three classes that share each lab room in the engineering building that we have now, and everything is cramped. Also, some of the equipment that we use in our labs are old or too small, so I am ready to be in the new labs with the new equipment,”  Searcy said.

When talking with Martinez she explained some of the features that the new building is going to have with some benefiting the students who get to work in groups.

“I am most looking forward to all the cool new spaces that we are going to have… it’s just going to be cool that it’s got a very open look on the inside.” Martinez explained, “it’s got that little courtyard area that’s on the side kind of towards the library and that’s going to be really cool… the inside along there it’s going to have a lot of places for students to work like tables for them to sit and work with their computers and collaboration stations.”

This will give students a lot of room to study and do groupwork.

With the majority of the labs on the first floor she explained the visuality for the labs, “a lot of the labs and stuff have glass fronts, so you can see all the cool stuff that is going on inside.” The feature that may stand out the most is maybe the wall of windows, “… it’s all open and all of that curtain windows, they call it a curtain wall, but all those windows there so kids can see out and people can see in…,” as Martinez explained.

The new engineering building in many aspects will be beneficial for the faculty, students, the new School of Engineering and of course Tarleton. The new building has a chance for the engineering students to get projects and attention from industries since they are all together now. It will step up the possibilities for future interest into the engineering programs and send interested students their way.

“I think it is really going to kind of take our school of engineering to the next level,” Martinez stated.