By State Rep. Brooks Landgraf
I recently had the honor of participating in the topping off ceremony of the new University of Texas of the Permian Basin College of Engineering building and it is difficult to articulate the emotions I feel in seeing our beloved West Texas institution growing its footprint while also growing the number of future scholars.
The new College of Engineering building will be a 105,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility with three stories that will include classrooms, research and instructional labs, as well as administrative offices and student support services. With over 600 students either in or feeding into the engineering program, and the expansion of chemical and electrical engineering into the college that already includes mechanical and petroleum, I can’t help but feel excited for the future of engineering, economic, and educational prosperity in West Texas.
While advances in engineering are occurring with UTPB, we are seeing similar progress in the health education sector. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine also has a two-story, 51,000 square-foot structure going up in the downtown area of Odessa. Just as with engineering, our region has a high demand for health-related occupations. By investing in current programs and facilities and expanding them locally, we will see the quality of life increase in the place that we all call home.
I made a promise to voters that I would do everything in my power to fight for what West Texas needs and deserves, so I was proud to fight in the legislature for the appropriation of funds for the construction of these two projects during my first session in office in 2015.
I strongly believe that education is the gateway to opportunity, prosperity, and wealth for both individuals and communities. I hope you share my enthusiasm as you drive by these new rising structures and quickly see what was once a dream becoming a reality. I am proud that West Texas is at the forefront of Texas’ ability to mold the minds of our future engineers and health professionals for generations to come.
God bless Texas!