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Engineering Building to include cafe

The+Engineering+Building+on+UTPB%27s+Midland+Campus+is+going+up+quickly.+
The Engineering Building on UTPB's Midland Campus is going up quickly.

The Engineering Building on UTPB's Midland Campus is going up quickly.

The Engineering Building on UTPB's Midland Campus is going up quickly.

Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia, Multi-Media Managing Editor

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It’s been a little over a year when former president of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin David W. Watts would tell me that if he could choose one thing that he is most proud about [it would be] “Getting the engineering program established. Because that’s a program that really meets the needs of businesses, here in our area, the Permian Basin… So I am very proud to have been a part of that.”

It’s been also a little over a year since the groundbreaking ceremony took place at the lobby of the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Building due to bad weather. And a little over a month ago was the “topping out” ceremony.

The project started more than four years ago and it was approved by the Texas Governor Greg Abbot in 2015. The $55 million facility is expected to be ready by May of 2019. Classes will start in the fall of 2019 in the new facility.

The three story building will include 105,801 gross square feet that will include one 108-seat Lecture Hall, six 42-seat classrooms, one visualization laboratory, twelve laboratories, 24-seat laboratory classrooms, three computer labs, three student success centers, thirty faculty offices, one Dean suite, two elevators, one student café and numerous student collaboration areas and conference spaces. The building will house mechanical, petroleum, electrical and chemical engineering programs.

Recent UTPB President Sandra “Sandy” K. Woodley, Associate Professor Forrest Flocker, and a couple of staff and faculty and media took a walk through what will be the engineering building. The people in charge of the construction of the building gave an update and tour on the progress of the building.

According to Woodley “the engineering program is one of the fastest growing programs [at UTPB]”.  She also mentioned that “we’re spending millions of dollars in lab equipment, the latest software and hardware and lab equipment that our students and faculty will need to do research… we’re spending a lot of time making sure that we have the best tools available for our students to learn”.

Flocker, Interim Dean for the Engineering Department, said that in the future offering more programs like civil engineering and some graduates programs would make a more comprehensive engineering college. As of right now they have 600 students and they are expecting to double with the new programs (electrical and chemical).

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