WTAMU opens the highly anticipated Agricultural Sciences Complex


September 7, 2018

CONTACT: Dr. Lal-Khan Almas, 806-651-2552, lalmas@wtamu.edu

COPY BY: Brittany Castillo, 806-651-2682, bcastillo@wtamu.edu

WTAMU opens the highly anticipated Agricultural Sciences Complex


CANYON, Texas – Officials at West Texas A&M University and distinguished guests gathered Friday at the corner of Russell Long Boulevard and West Texas A&M Drive to officially open the Agricultural Sciences Complex with a ribbon cutting followed by tours of the new facility.

Valued at $48 million, construction on the complex began in 2016 after the Texas Legislature passed a bill that issued more than $38 million worth of tuition revenue bonds for building. The remaining $10 million was to be covered through fund-raising efforts and gifts. On schedule, the complex welcomed the first agricultural classes this fall and with less than $200,000 left to raise.

“This complex has allowed new and advanced opportunities to teach the production of protein from optimum welfare of the live animal walking in the door to the most modern food safety methods. This facility has undoubtedly attracted new students. We have been on a growth rate of six percent year-over-year and we anticipate to push past 10 percent,” Ty Lawrence, professor of animal science, said.

At the ribbon cutting, WTAMU President Walter Wendler thanked donors and family for their generosity in the University’s climb to agricultural prominence and administrators for supporting one of the fastest growing programs on campus in this time of rapid transition.

“Our students are being given more opportunities for collaborations in research and real-world experiences involving industry professionals with the new Agricultural Sciences Complex,” Wendler said. “We are excited about this advancement to our campus and so grateful to The Texas A&M University System, the Texas Legislature and the many industry leaders who have supported this project.”

The complex contains more than 150,000 square feet of learning space including the Caviness Meat Science and Innovation Center, the three-story Happy State Bank Academic and Research Building, the Piehl-Schaeffer Pavilion, the Bain Event Center and a multi-purpose arena with spectator seating for up to 500 people.

“The support we have received from the industry and donors is humbling. Seeing this place go from a vacant lot to this amazing complex is unbelievable,” Stefanie Wolf, graduate assistant in the department of agricultural sciences, said. “My favorite part of the complex are the details within each building that reflect our Panhandle heritage and agricultural roots.”

To tour the complex or learn more about how to get support the Department of Agricultural Sciences at WTAMU, call 806-651-2550.