It’s been a long journey for those hoping to see a new facility built for the music department. Starting in the late 1990s, the Texas A&M University – Kingsville music department has been striving to acquire the approval and funding for a brand new music building on campus.
However, 2016 is the year the wait may finally be over – well, at least for the construction to commence, anyway.
Dr. Paul Hageman, Chair of the music department and professor of Jazz studies here at TAMUK, spoke about the up-and-coming project, saying, “The goal is to have a music building that is adequate for the needs of our current student population and that will also allow for the future growth of our music programs.”
With over thirty years of experience teaching here at TAMUK, Dr. Hageman understands that enough is enough – that change is needed: “Our current facilities are not conducive to a learning environment, so this project is to build a new music building that will meet our needs,” said Dr. Hageman.
With the TRB request finally approved during the last legislative session, TAMUK faculty have begun to meet with architects and construction companies since August and are still doing so to this day. TAMUK will partner with the BRW architectural firm and the Spaw/Glass construction firm to construct the building, and the projected finish date is late spring/early summer of 2019.
Though this project has garnered much excitement around campus; the announcement has also caused many to become uneasy about a very common problem: parking. For years, TAMUK students have complained about the difficulty they face in trying to find available parking – especially around Manning Hall. And with the new music building construction team already closing off many Manning Hall parking spots, many students cannot help but worry if there will be any places to park their vehicle.
However, Dr. Terisa Riley, Senior Vice President of Student Affairs, assures us that, “…we are going to be working directly with the City of Kingsville regarding student safety during and following the construction of this building.” Some ways in which TAMUK will be overseeing this parking issue during the duration of the project will include: “Paving a current area owned by the university which is located on the east side of Armstrong (currently a large, grassy lot) to provide parking spaces,” and “Paving the parking lots directly behind Cousins Hall which are currently just caliche to improve and line the surface so that individuals will want to park there.”
Though the project is still years away from completion, students and faculty alike will be anxiously spectating as this monumental change comes to our music department.