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Eagle Evolution: Texas A&M University-Texarkana Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for 2 Buildings

Published: June 9, 2016

Eagle Evolution: TExas A&M University-Texarkana Host Groundbreaking celemony

Students and officials break ground June 7 for a student recreation and wellness center and a building for academic and student success on the A&M-Texarkana campus.

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus and state Rep. Dr. Gary VanDeaver joined Texas A&M University-Texarkana June 7 in breaking ground for two new buildings – a student recreation and wellness center and an academic and student success building – on the A&M-Texarkana campus.

The $32 million, 58,000-square-foot academic and student success building will house a recently expanded nursing program, business programs, academic classrooms, laboratories and support services for students. The building will accommodate enrollment growth, particularly in science and health-affiliated disciplines that require specialized laboratory space. The project was made possible through the approval of funding by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015.

The $11 million, 38,000-square-foot student recreation and wellness center will be the home of the university’s new kinesiology program, a regulation-sized intercollegiate basketball/volleyball court that will double as space for recreational and intercollegiate sports, retractable bleachers, classrooms, locker rooms, a training room for student-athletes, and offices for faculty and staff. Through a public-private partnership, Eagle Lake Development of Texarkana, Texas, is working with A&M-Texarkana on construction of the center. A&M-Texarkana is raising funds to furnish and equip the building.

Joining Speaker of the House Straus and Rep. VanDeaver in turning the soil were A&M University System Regent Judy Morgan, A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, A&M-Texarkana President Dr. Emily Cutrer, Mayor Bob Bruggeman of the Texarkana, Texas, Mayor Ruth Penny Bell of Texarkana, Arkansas, representatives from the A&M System, business and industry leaders, alumni and other friends of the university.

“We owe a great deal of thanks to the Texas Legislature and the Texarkana community for making these new buildings possible,” said Chancellor Sharp. “With these additions, Texas A&M University-Texarkana will provide even better service to its students, teachers, researchers and community members on what will be the most beautiful campus in Northeast Texas.”

Rep. VanDeaver stressed the importance of higher education in moving the state and region forward.

"These buildings represent a brighter future for Texarkana and for the State of Texas because these buildings represent our commitment to improving educational opportunities for Texans," Rep. VanDeaver said. "We cannot regulate our way to a better Texas. We cannot legislate our way to a better Texas. My friends, our best hope is to educate our way to a better Texas."

Speaker of the House Straus said the building program is an investment in the future of the university and its students.

"We are breaking ground today on something that’s much more than a building. It's a place where students will grow, where they will discover gifts, talents and interests they probably never knew they even had," Speaker Straus said. "There's no doubt this growing university is on the rise, and today we begin a promising new chapter in your history.”

“These two buildings will usher in a new era of excellence for the university and are the next steps in our Eagle Evolution in support of community and economic development in the Texarkana region,” Dr. Cutrer said.


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