Killeen: A&M Central Texas builds new space for in-demand courses
A Central Texas College hopes to make in-demand degrees affordable through the opening of a new facility.
"It's going to be the smallest of the three buildings on campus, but in some ways, it will be the most spectacular," says Central Texas A&M President Marc Nigliazzo.
The Texas A&M campus has only been in Killeen for nine years, but the university’s administration is building for the decade ahead.
They’re preparing to open their third building, Heritage Hall, in the fall.
The $38 million dollar facility will support new degree programs and provide workout and gathering areas for students.
"I think there's something very special on all three of the floors- the layout of the first floor with the atrium. The science labs are going to be spectacular, they are state-of-the-art," says Nigliazzo.
The new teaching and research labs will be a welcome addition after enrollment in biology majors tripled from 2016 to 2017.
The university has already acquired a research grant in renewable energy and plans to take on more research projects.
The multi-use facility will cater to more than science majors. The new Exercise Physiology and Human Performance degree program was inspired by the school’s work with disabled veterans. Enrolled students will start classes in the new building by next spring.
"I'll have access to work out and improve myself while I work on my degree plan," says James Ingraffia. He transferred from Central Texas College after meeting the credit requirements for the new course.
"It's close to home, and it's a lot more affordable," he adds.
The space will also house an archive collection featuring newly declassified research on the Watergate scandal, General Shoemaker's U.S. Army War College Papers and more.
In the future, the school plans to expand into masters programs, but their primary focus now is attracting students from local high schools and community colleges.
With this new Heritage Hall addition, they hope to prove Central Texas A&M is a formula for top careers and breathtaking views.
"We hope they're going to like it a lot," says Nigliazzo following a tour of the building.
He adds, "I think after what we saw today they will!"