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.