15:43 PM

South Texas College officially opens new Technology Campus expansion

Administrators hold “ribbon-cutting” ceremony ushering in new facility built with the assistance of industry in the Rio Grande Valley

Staff and faculty used a blowtorch in lieu of scissors at a special ribbon cutting ceremony to officially announce the opening of South Texas College’s (STC) expansion at its Technology Campus in McAllen.

STC Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology, Mario Reyna had the honor of cutting the steel bar with the words “South Texas College” using a torch from the Technology Campus. The steel bar was also created by 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 Dr. 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 recently completed a $9.3 million expansion that will house its Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) as well as the offices of Continuing Professional Workforce Education (CPWE). Located at the former site of a plastic manufacturing facility adjacent to the current campus, the new facility will also house Construction Management, Electrician Technology, Precision Manufacturing Technology and Welding programs.

In attendance at the ceremony was STC Trustees Chairman Dr. Alejo Salinas and Graciela Farias, City of McAllen Commissioner Omar Quintanilla, and McAllen EDC Board of Directors Chairwoman Laura Warren.

The acquisition of the old manufacturing plant increases square footage at the campus by 76,000 square feet, and is the campus’s first all-encompassing expansion in over 20 years. 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 (AEDT).

“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 STC Dean 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,” Reyna said.

STC administrators now look ahead to the official opening of its expansion at its Nursing and Allied Health Campus tentatively by February.