Texas A&M dedicates campus in Killeen, breaks ground on second building
June 1, 2012
KILLEEN, Texas (June 1, 2012) -- Texas A&M University dedicated its inaugural building and broke ground on its second building here, May 24, solidifying the dream for A&M's Central Texas campus.
Aug. 26, 2010, was the first day of construction on Building No. 1 of A&M's Central Texas campus. Built on 662 acres transferred from the U.S. Army to the Texas A&M University System in 2009, the building is a symbol of A&M's dedication to education.
The $40 million, 103,000-square-foot Building No. 1 is complete with classrooms, a lecture hall, student and support services, administrative offices and a campus bookstore.
The grand opening of Building No. 1 was a welcoming to the new home of the Warriors, TAMU-CT's mascot, and its relationship with Fort Hood did not go unnoticed at the ceremony.
Tracy Treaff, TAMU-CT's chief liaison officer, said the groundbreaking and dedication of Building No. 1 solidified and brought a tangible symbol to what A&M is as a university.
"Our physical location is not only beautiful, it is a symbol," Treaff said. "Look to your left and there's the veterans cemetery. Those people died so that we could have the freedom to be here today. Look to your right and there's Fort Hood. Those people are currently still fighting for that freedom. We are surrounded by greatness."
TAMU-CT's faculty and students are well-aware that a mass of its student-body will be made up of Soldiers and their family members because it is so close to Fort Hood. Treaff said that they couldn't be more proud of that fact.
"The innovative learning experiences that we offer here, we want to extend to the Soldiers wherever they may be, and now it's right outside of Fort Hood for them," explained Randy McCauley, director of marketing and communications at TAMU-CT.
Members of A&M's board of regents who spoke at the ceremony all expressed their gratitude for the veterans and Soldiers of the U.S. Army, making it clear that the university's new location is a smart one.
"The heroes of the U.S. Army are not just the source of our name, they are our inspiration," said Marc Nigliazzo, TAMU-CT's inaugural president, of the Warrior mascot name.
Retired Col. Ron Perry related the building dedication and groundbreaking to Fort Hood's Phantom Warrior Week, saying that this was the appropriate time for this ribbon cutting for the TAMU-CT Warriors because Fort Hood had been dedicating the whole week to warriors of every kind, past, present and future.
"From the Phantom Warriors at Fort Hood to the A&M Warriors, we salute your phenomenal success," Perry said.
Texas A&M University System Board of Regents member Morris Foster's closing remarks also related TAMU-CT's warrior mascot with Fort Hood's own warriors.
"What better mascot to have than a warrior when right here in this area of Fort Hood are the greatest warriors in the world -- the U.S. Army Soldiers," Foster said.
After the ribbon-cutting, the celebration continued with a quick transition to breaking ground for TAMU-CT's second building. Building No. 2 for A&M Killeen campus will be even larger than the first.
The second structure, a 125,000-square-foot building, will compliment the first building with a library, counseling center, career services center, school of education offices and social work programs, distributed leaning and instructional technology programs. It will also offer additional classrooms and laboratory space.
After establishing itself as a stand-alone university in 2009, TAMU-CT has increased its degrees awarded from 542 to 692 in 2010. It is an upper-level university dedicated to high quality learning experiences and offers daytime, evening, weekend and online class options with more than 50 baccalaureate and graduate educational programs available.
The student-body is made up of more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, with 40 percent of those being active-duty military service members, veterans or military family members.