Multi-million dollar building opens on local campus

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Texas A&M Central Texas officials hope to do groundbreaking work and attract new talent through a brand new state-of-the-art facility that officially opened Friday.

Heritage Hall. (Photo by Chelsea Edwards)

Heritage Hall, the school's third yet smallest building, provides plenty of gathering spaces for students.

The new building also has two new conference rooms available at no cost for public use.

It will also house the university’s new Exercise Physiology and Human Performance degree program which was inspired by the school's work with disabled veterans.

Also, five new research and teaching science labs now support the school's budding biology program.

"Our numbers have been growing very fast, and so we're just really excited to be able to have these extra facilities to be able to accommodate our growing student population," says Science and Mathematics Department Chair Dr. Laura Weiser-Erlandson.

"But also [we want] to let them know that they have these wonderful opportunities to gain valuable skills that they may not get elsewhere that are really going to give them a competitive edge in the job market later on."

The labs include high-tech equipment for original research projects and teaching crime analysis that you might catch on an episode of CSI.

"This allows students to visually identify and quantify proteins and DNA," says Erlandson, showing off the Bio-Rad ChemiDoc Imaging System.

"With this particular machine, they can put their gel in here. This visualizes the DNA; it can also provide a 3D image that also provides the ability to quantify or figure out how much protein or how much DNA is in there.

It just allows them an amazing experience that most undergraduates don't get," she says.

Ground was broken for the $36 million building in December 2016.