Texas A&M University System Regents Approve $70 million Engineering Building for Prairie View A&M University

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION — Prairie View A&M University is getting a new, $70 million engineering and classroom building.

Construction of the cutting-edge facility was approved today by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, which has made unprecedented levels of investment in Texas’ oldest Historically Black University in recent years.

“Prairie View is resurgent under President Ruth Simmons and our Board of Regents,’’ said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “This new engineering building is the latest evidence of the investment in Prairie View A&M and its students.”

Enrollment at Prairie View’s Roy G. Perry College of Engineering has grown rapidly from 960 students in 2010 to 1,635 students in 2018, and the number of graduate students has almost tripled. The college has grown to have more than 85 faculty members and researchers, and four new outstanding research centers have been added to the college.

“This new building will allow us to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees, hire more faculty and create more African American engineers,” said President Ruth Simmons. “This purpose-built facility for engineering and research will transform teaching and research output at Prairie View A&M University.”

The new building, which is expected to be about 106,000 gross square feet, will balance student spaces with focused research spaces. New lab spaces will be designed to support multidisciplinary research. There will be dedicated space for work in 3-D manufacturing, space exploration, data analytics and artificial intelligence, robotics, structural analysis and more. A maker space area will promote collaboration of students across engineering disciplines.

Almost two-thirds of the square footage will be for direct instruction, with six generalized instructional spaces and 14 specialized labs. The remaining third of the facility will be comprised of research lab space for faculty and graduate students.

The $70 million engineering facility will be built at the intersection of Reda Bland Evans Street and E.E. O’Bannion Street on the north end of campus. Construction will begin in June and should be completed by August of 2023.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents have invested more than $247 million in construction projects and Chancellor Research Initiative grants at Prairie View A&M University since 2009, building new classroom buildings, a new student recreation center, a new fabrication center, a new early childhood learning academy and new athletic facilities, including a new football stadium and a new grandstand for the baseball field.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

New RELLIS Infrastructure to Undergird Army Innovation

The Texas A&M University System News Release

Regents OK $13 million for 5G Network Cable, Water and Electric work

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — There is nothing glamorous about infrastructure, even these days as Congress debates the meaning of the word.

However modern, high-quality infrastructure is critical to a vital strategic goal shared by the Texas A&M University System and the U.S. Army: to build a world-class ecosystem for military technology innovation on the RELLIS Campus. It’s called the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC).

The Board of Regents took an important step toward the shared goal Thursday by appropriating $13.1 million for infrastructure improvements on the west side of RELLIS. The improvements will undergird two testing ranges for next generation technology, the Innovation Proving Ground (IPG) and the Ballistic, Aero-optics and Materials (BAM.)

The infrastructure package includes basic improvements — water, sewers and electrical power — to areas around the runways of the former Army and Air Force base. It also includes fiber cabling to fully support 5th generation (5G) Internet capabilities.

“5G is a really important to our partners and potential partners,” said Ross Guieb, a retired Army Colonel serving as BCDC executive director.  “The intel community, DOD and defense industry leaders are all watching closely with interest and excitement.”

Army commanders and other U.S. military leaders eagerly await completion of the BCDC over the next several years. The $200 million complex is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Army Futures Command and The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the State of Texas.

The BCDC includes the IPG, the BAM and other facilities that will bring together researchers from U.S. universities, the military and the private sector for collaboration, demonstrations and high-tech testing of military prototypes.

Regents Thursday also approved three amendments to enhance BAM’s instrumentation for research and testing.

BAM will host enclosed testing of hypersonic vehicles, directed energy beams and the impact that hypersonic blasts have on various materials.

The changes improve the tube’s rail guidance system, add blast target tanks and a soft catch assembly that will safely recover flown objects for post-flight analysis and data collection.

The combined cost of the changes is $3.5 million, bringing the total estimated cost to about $42.5 million.

At one kilometer long and 2.5 meters in diameter, BAM will be the nation’s largest enclosed hypersonic test range. It will bridge a critical gap in U.S. research capacity between lab-scale experiments and open-range tests, which can cost tens of millions of dollars per test.

Regents Thursday also:

  • Authorized representatives of the Texas A&M System to negotiate with the City of Galveston for purchase of the portion of the Seawolf Parkway that runs through the Texas A&M University at Galveston campus. Regents also authorized additional funding discussions to support the realignment of the Pelican Island Bridge to redirect hazardous materials around the campus.
  • Authorized a new ground lease with the Association of Former Students on the Texas A&M University in College Station to expand the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center. The Association is planning to build a Grand Hall of about 80,000 square feet and make other improvements to host families on Aggie Ring Days, hold group events and offer students more ways to explore Aggie traditions and core values.
  • Authorized Texas A&M System representatives to negotiate changes to an existing lease of space within the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM) in College Station to FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Texas (FDBT.) The amendment is primarily to extend the lease term from 2024 to 2034 prior to FDBT investing $6 million in upgrades at the location, where the company produces virus and cell banks for vaccine manufacturing.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The Texas A&M System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts each year. Systemwide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

Texas A&M System Regents Honor Long-time Regent Phil Adams

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University Board of Regents on Thursday honored one of its own, Phil Adams ’71, for his 18 years of service on the board.

Adams served with distinction for three six-year terms as one of the longest serving members of the Board of Regents in the last 20 years, having been appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2001 and 2009 and reappointed in 2015 by Governor Greg Abbott.

Randy Brooks of San Angelo will take Adams’ position on the Board.

During his tenure, Adams played a significant role in the growth of the Texas A&M System while serving on numerous board committees and as Vice Chairman of the Board from 2011 to 2013 and as Chairman of the Board from 2013 to 2015.

During Adams’ time on the board, student enrollment across the System has grown to more than 151,000; the System’s research expenditures topped $1 billion a year in 2019; and the Regents oversaw a historic construction boom during the past nine years. Among the projects was the $485 million renovation of Kyle Field, a $550 million medical complex adjacent to the Texas Medical Center in Houston and the creation of the RELLIS Campus in Bryan, which has become a research home for the Army Futures Command and several System agencies.

Adams, who lives in Bryan, is owner and president of Phil Adams Company, which provides insurance products and services to businesses and individuals throughout Texas.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Hurtado Named Interim Leader of Texas A&M Engineering

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN/ COLLEGE STATIONJohn Hurtado, deputy director of the Bush Combat Development Complex, will be interim vice chancellor for Engineering, dean of the Texas A&M University College of Engineering as well as director for Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

The Texas A&M University Board of Regents on Thursday approved the appointment.

Dr. Hurtado will oversee administration of the college while a search is conducted to fill the vice chancellor and dean position. He will assume his new duties June 1.

Dr. Hurtado is a professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M’s College of Engineering. He specializes in theoretical mechanics, cooperative games, and dynamics and controls.

Hurtado earned his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from San Diego State University. He received both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University.

Hurtado replaces outgoing Vice Chancellor and Dean M. Katherine Banks, who was named dean in 2011 and was appointed in March as the 26th president of Texas A&M University.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu

Texas A&M System Regents to Meet Thursday

The Texas A&M University System News Release

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents will convene in the Century Ballroom of the Doug Pitcock ’49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, 177 Joe Routt Boulevard, at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 20.

The board may immediately recess to executive session.

The Board will reconvene in open session at approximately 1:30 p.m. in the ballroom.

To comply with System COVID-19 standards, social distancing will be in effect. To ensure social distancing, limited seating will be available and the adjusted occupancy limit of the meeting room will be observed. Members of the public may access the meeting at https://www.tamus.edu/regents/live-streams/

The Board will consider:

  • Authorization to negotiate and execute an advanced funding agreement relating to reconstruction of the Pelican Island Bridge at Texas A&M’s Galveston’s campus.
  • Authorization to execute a ground lease with The Association of Former Students for the addition of a Grand Hall and other improvements adjacent to the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center on the Texas A&M campus.
  • Appointment of Interim Vice Chancellor for Engineering, Interim Dean of the Texas A&M University College of Engineering, and Interim Director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
  • Approval for construction for RELLIS Campus infrastructure.
  • Approval for construction for the Engineering Classroom and Research Building Project, Prairie View A&M University.
  •  Adoption of a resolution honoring Regent Phil Adams for his outstanding dedication and service as a member of the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System and bestowing the title of Chairman Emeritus.

About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu