Faces of UTPB: The Mesa Building

Mesa Building in 1974 (Courtesy Photo)

By Alexa Dunson, Director of Strategic Communications

Special from UTPB

When you think of what makes UTPB, the Mesa Building probably comes to mind. Whether you’re a student, faculty member, or on staff, the Mesa has likely been a part of your time here.

The Mesa Building was the University’s first landmark. It was the first academic building on our campus. Within these walls students have learned, dreamed, taken chances, and gone off to graduate. Without the Mesa, there isn’t a UTPB.

So how did the Mesa come about?

The University broke ground in April 1972, but construction wasn’t complete until 1974. Our first classes began in fall 1973, so our students went to classes and studied in temporary buildings until the Mesa opened its doors. Something to think about next time you complain about the elevator (don’t worry, it’s fixed now!)

About two decades later, the Mesa underwent its first capital improvement project. After receiving $4M from state lawmakers, construction workers removed more than 100,000 square feet of concrete from the deck and installed a waterproof liner. Pavers or squares of different colors were added to create a design throughout the deck and the UTPB logo at the time was added. The repairs fixed leaks which had burdened the structure since it was built. The roof was also replaced at that time.

The Mesa Building is truly the heart of UTPB. It may be the oldest academic building, but it still serves thousands of students each year.

Half a century later, the Mesa is set to undergo its biggest improvement project yet. The University was recently awarded $47M from state legislators to completely renovate the building. The project, which is expected to take about 2 years to complete, will transform the building into a modern, innovative space. Phase I will begin in April 2024 and will completely overhaul the first floor to create a more engaging and welcoming experience for prospective and current students. A “one-stop-shop” with admissions, financial aid, registrar, student accounts, advising, and more all in one location. Many more plans are in the works for the Mesa, and we can’t wait to share them with you. All classrooms and faculty offices will also be renovated!

So, here’s to another half-century with the University’s signature building: The Mesa.