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Engineering Division Moves into Building

Friday, January 10, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

Engineering Division moves into buildingThe fastest growing division at Texas State Technical College is moving into a new home this semester.

The Engineering Division will move four of its programs into a 63,000 square-foot converted warehouse off Loop 499 across from United Launch Alliance.

The refurbished building will consist of classrooms, labs and offices used by the Telecommunications Technology, Mechatronics Technology, Wind Energy Technology and Biomedical Equipment Technology Programs. The new space will take up roughly 50 percent of the available square footage, said Adan Alvarez, the architect overseeing the construction.

“The (College) president’s vision was for flexible labs where the students from the different programs could easily interchange between labs on a semester by semester basis,” Alvarez said.

Hector Yanez took over this semester as Engineering Division Director and said the division has seen a hike in enrollment the past few semesters and this spring was no different. Yanez said the new building will serve to attract even more students into the Engineering Division.

“I think the facility and because of its capabilities and technology, it will create more growth in our division,” Yanez said.

The building boasts an industrial design using a lot of concrete, metal and some wood to go tie in with the engineering technology taught there, Alvarez said. Basket-weaved wooden ceiling patterns made with reclaimed wood from old barracks accent the inside of the building.

Alvarez said the building is on the tracking process for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. He said the building meets all requirements but it must await review of a submitted proposal. The University Center was the first building south of San Antonio to achieve gold status in 2012.

The original warehouse has been around since the late 1940’s when it served as a metal door manufacturing company. The building was later purchased by Lockheed-Martin, a defense contractor that built rocket engines for shuttles until the mid-1990’s. Three years ago, TSTC purchased the building and used it as storage for surplus materials.

Construction on the new building started in December 2012 and was completed this past December.

The Engineering Building is still serving as storage but a second and third phase is expected in the future.

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