The latest addition to The University of Texas-Pan American campus – the Mathematics and General Classroom Building and Computer Center – was formally dedicated Wednesday, Oct. 31 at a ceremony featuring administrators from The University of Texas System and UTPA, along with several Rio Grande Valley state legislators.
|From left, Fred Raley, SpawGlass Contractors Inc. president; Dr. Edwin R. Sharpe, UT System executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs; Shirley Bird Perry, UT System vice chancellor for Development and External Relations; State Sen. Carlos Truan (D-Corpus Christi); R.D. Burck, UT System chancellor; UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevarez; Cyndi Taylor Krier, UT System regent; State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville); Roland S. Arriola, UTPA vice president for External Affairs; State Rep. Roberto Gutierrez (D-McAllen); Charles Croslin, Croslin and Associates Inc. president; Dr. Rodolfo Arevalo, UTPA provost/vice president for Academic Affairs; and Jim Langabeer, UTPA vice president for Business Affairs.|
The $17.2 million building includes a three-story section housing 24 faculty and administrative offices for the Department of Mathematics, 17 general use computer classrooms complete with data connections, four lecture halls, 19 general and mathematics classrooms and a student lounge. The adjacent two-story Computer Center is the administrative computing entity for the entire University.
The morning dedication ceremony featured R.D. Burck, UT System chancellor; Cyndi Taylor Krier, UT System regent; and UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez. Other speakers included State Sens. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and Carlos Truan (D-Corpus Christi), State Rep. Roberto Gutierrez (D-McAllen), and several UTPA administrators, faculty and staff.
"With this building, we will be able to offer to our students what they deserve – an excellent learning and research environment to reach their individual goals," Nevárez said.
The building, which opened in August, was funded through tuition revenue bonds approved by the 75th Texas Legislature. Several Valley legislators worked closely with UTPA administrators and were involved in approving funds for the project.
"I want to congratulate you on your role," said Truan. "You can say you were there when this building became a reality, and you can tell generations to come that you were here on this historic occasion."
Lucio echoed Truan's thoughts about the importance of the new facility.
"To see my alma mater grow and blossom fills me with great pride," said Lucio. "(The building) is an investment that will reap benefits for generations to come."
Gutierrez said the building was another step in the right direction for UTPA as it continues to grow and improve.
"This is only the beginning," Gutierrez said. "All professional programs available in San Antonio, Houston, Austin and Dallas will be available here in the Valley."
UT System officials also recognized the importance of the new building and UTPA’s commitment to improve education in the Valley.
"The University is making great strides in offering the people of the Valley higher education," said Burck.
"The message is clear: UT Pan American is on the move in a dramatic enhancement of its service to the people of the Rio Grande Valley."
Regent Krier agreed.
"I am delighted to join you today to represent the Board of Regents in what is truly an important historic milestone in this University," said Krier. "UT Pan American is a resource that should be cherished, protected and strengthened."
The architects, Charles Croslin and Associates, Inc. of Austin – who presented Nevárez and Jim Langabeer, UTPA vice president for Business Affairs, with two framed photos of the building – designed it to fit with the Louis Kahn-style structures on campus. The general contractors were SpawGlass Contractors Inc. of Selma, Texas.