Texas State University Opens High-Tech Engineering Building

The $120 million facility includes a state-of-the-art “maker-space” with 3-D printers, laser cutters and more.

by Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, Austin American-Statesman / November 12, 2018
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(TNS) — A $120 million engineering and science building was dedicated this week at Texas State University, ushering in what school officials say will be an expansion of research, innovation and teaching.

Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall, named for longtime benefactors of the university who contributed a portion of the cost, is the largest and most ambitious building project in Texas State history, officials said. The five-floor, 166,851-square-foot building occupies a full block at the intersection of North Comanche and West Woods streets on the San Marcos campus.

Among its features is a "maker space" with 3-D printers, laser cutters, engravers, metal and plastic mills, welding gear, woodworking equipment and more. Passers-by will be able to observe some of the activity through broad windows. A collaborative learning center offers free walk-in tutoring in basic and advanced biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, engineering technology, math and physics. There are group and solo study areas as well as computer labs.

Ingram Hall is the new home for the College of Science and Engineering's electrical engineering, industrial engineering and manufacturing engineering programs, and it also provides new space for biology, computer science, math and physics programs. Its opening frees up space in the Roy F. Mitte Building to be renovated for a civil engineering program, pending approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting agency. The university plans to add a mechanical engineering program in the future.

"It is a welcoming space that supports learning and collaboration for both students and faculty," Christine Hailey, dean of science and engineering, said of Ingram Hall. "The new facilities and equipment greatly enhance our ability to offer innovative programs in teaching and research."

Classrooms in the building, which was dedicated Thursday, have been in use since August, but full occupancy won't happen until spring.

Bruce and Gloria Ingram donated $5 million toward construction, plus a gift of concrete worth $2 million from their company, Ingram Readymix Inc. Their $5 million donation leveraged a matching gift of $5 million from the state as part of the Texas Research Incentive Program. The Ingrams' donations to Texas State over the years, coupled with state matching funds, total more than $21 million, university spokesman Jayme Blaschke said.

Bonds approved by the Legislature and bonds from the Texas State University System also underwrote Ingram Hall.

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