Facility built with the assistance of industry in the Rio Grande Valley
It’s not the most traditional of ways to host a ribbon cutting, but the use of a blowtorch instead of scissors by South Texas College staff and faculty on Jan. 19 was fitting. Donning welding masks, they gathered to officially announce the opening of STC’s expansion at its Technology Campus in McAllen.
STC Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology Mario Reyna cut the steel bar with the words “South Texas College” using a torch from the Technology Campus. The steel bar was the creation of welding students attending the college.
“It all amounts to the state of the art labs that are focused on the needs of industry in our region,” said STC President Shirley A. Reed. “This is real-world hands-on experience for students so that when they leave South Texas College, they are prepared to do the job.”
The Technology Campus‘s $9.3 million expansion will house its Institute for Advanced Manufacturing as well as the offices of Continuing Professional Workforce Education. The new facility will also house Construction Management, Electrician Technology, Precision Manufacturing Technology and Welding programs. It is located at the former site of a plastic manufacturing facilities, increasing square footage at the campus by 76,000 square feet. Funds have also been used to develop 42 offices, seven classrooms, six computer labs, five training labs, as well as the only FESTO robotics training lab in the State of Texas.
Existing space at the Technology Campus has been renovated to expand its current offerings including the diesel program, as well as additional space for HVAC&R and Architectural Engineering and Design Technology.
“I think the whole purpose of this new building is to continue the transformation that has taken place in the Valley over the last 20 years,” said Reyna. “Now that we have this new facility, we have even greater space to do more of the automation, more of the information technology and more of the construction supervision that is needed tremendously in our area. Companies need the students with the skills we are producing,” and this is only the beginning.”