Construction Begins on New Engineering Labs
August 30, 2016
Orange safety fencing now surrounds the grounds between the Vincent Building and the Super Slab/Roscoe’s Den eatery, and the construction company will break ground this week.
The new facility will measure about 8,000 square feet and will be the first new academic building on the main campus since the Science III Building was completed in 2005. In addition to engineering labs, the facility will be outfitted with hands-on demonstration equipment to promote student outreach.
This fall, the civil engineering program has continued its growth and now includes three full-time faculty members and more than 100 students enrolled in engineering classes.
Construction of the Hunter Strain Engineering Laboratories is the culmination of vision, plans and donations that have been in the works for more than two years.
Timeline of Events
In the spring of 2014, a $4.5 million gift from an anonymous donor, along with the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents’ approval of a new Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree at Angelo State, sparked the series of events leading up to next week’s ground breaking.
In August that year, the university was awarded a five-year, $2.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to support the implementation of ASU’s proposed new civil engineering program. The grant was awarded under the USDE’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program for a cooperative project between ASU and Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde that is titled “Strengthening the Engineering Pipeline in West Texas” (STEP West Texas).
In April 2015, ASU was officially approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) degree for the fall 2015 semester.
That June, Dr. William A. Kitch, former professor of engineering at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (CPP), was named the first chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, and more than 50 engineering students began studies that fall.
In May 2016, David L. Hirschfeld and his family stepped forward with a $1 million gift to name the David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering.
ASU has also received further anonymous gifts of $100,000 to purchase laboratory equipment and $20,000 to fund the program’s first endowed scholarship.