Move-In Date Set for Classroom Center
It needs just a few more finishing touches, and the newly renovated Classroom Center will be ready for occupancy—in plenty of time for the fall semester.
In December 2008, faculty and staff housed in West Texas A&M University’s Classroom Center boxed up belongings and moved to the old Fine Arts Building so a $16.2 million renovation could begin on the 40-year-old building once dubbed as the “banana building.” After a little more than a year of work, crews now are busy finishing last minute details on the new technology-rich facility, and WTAMU personnel will begin moving into the building as early as July 20.
“The building has been totally gutted,” Danny Smith, associate vice president for physical facilities, said. “About the only thing that hasn’t changed is the building’s terrazzo floor.”
The Classroom Center was originally built in 1968, and changes on each of the building’s four floors are immediately evident with new paint, decorative wall sconces and an abundance of natural light filtering in from the glassed-in staircases. Tables and chairs have replaced the outdated school desks, and each classroom features smart-classroom technology. A new, larger elevator has been installed along with a two-pipe heating and air conditioning system that is thermostat controlled for comfort. Safety locks on classroom doors, fire doors, new windows, carpeting and expanded office space are just a few more changes found in the renovated facility.
But the biggest change is found on the first floor in the new Student Success Center (SSC). The center is a one-stop shop for students. Offices from across campus will be moving into the SSC to offer students help with everything from advising to tutoring. Offices located in the Student Success Center will include the STARR Center, Student Employment Services, Counseling Services, Educational Services, First-Year Experience, Life Services, Nationally Competitive Scholarships, Student Support Services, Student Disability Services, Study Abroad, Transfer Center and the Writing Lab.
“Students no longer need to walk across campus to access the help they need from career and counseling services,” Denese Skinner, director of career and counseling services, said. “We will be living under the same roof as the other key student success services from which many of our referrals originate. Plus, the location is in the central hub of activity on campus.”
In addition to the SSC, the Classroom Center also will house 40 classrooms, and naming rights are available. A $30,000 gift from the Arthur Glover Charitable Trust made the Arthur Glover Accounting Classroom the first officially named room in the building.
Other named classrooms have followed and include the Neil and Anne Terry Classroom, the Stan and Greta Liles Classroom and the FirstBank Southwest Classroom. The naming rights include dedication signage in the hallway, and for businesses, a company logo on a wall inside the classroom. Classroom naming rights also provide upgraded furnishings and creates an endowment to provide funds for classroom updates.
“Naming rights are wonderful opportunities to honor loved ones or showcase a business,” Teresa Clemons, director of development, said. “It also helps provide a technologically-advanced and student-friendly environment for our students.”
• $25,000—College of Business Dean’s Conference room
• $30,000—Student Gathering Spaces
• $35,000—Smart Classroom
• $100,000—Trading Room Classroom
Plans are under way for a fall grand opening to showcase the newly renovated Classroom Center. For information about naming rights, contact Teresa Clemons at 806-651-2647.