The new year will bring many changes to Texas A&M University–Kingsville (TAMUK). This includes plans for construction, improvements to education and technology, and even a new building for classrooms.
While these changes are being implemented, the administration has made an effort to solve problems around the campus.
Last year, TAMUK experienced difficulties with housing and electricity.
Dr. Steven Tallant, president of TAMUK, said the problems have been fixed and there will be a lot going on this semester.
Last semester, the honors dorm Mesquite Village West, had major problems with plumbing.
Tallant said that the dorm was built to heat the water system in the dorm by solar panels on the roof.
“It was doing okay, but there was a problem with some of the piping and it got corroded. There was a major break in the system which caused the flood, but that problem has been fixed and we anticipate no further problems with that,” he said.
The electrical problems TAMUK had last year were the effect of the switch boxes being outdated. Over the semester break, half of the campus was closed down for two days as the boxes were replaced.
Tallant said he wants to continue improving TAMUK thoroughly, inside and out.
Many of TAMUK’s roads had been full of potholes and are now being refurbished.
“Avenue B is a mess. What happened there was we thought there was a base,” he said. “When you build a road, you have to have a base and then you pour asphalt over it. When they tore it up, we saw there was no base so we had to get extra money to get it done.”
Tallant said the road should be done within a couple of weeks. But he acknowledged that many other roads need to be fixed.
“We’re fixing all the major issues and they should be done this semester. That includes the parking lot between the Student Union Building and Hill Hall. All those potholes drive me crazy,” he said.
Reconstruction is only one aspect of the changes Tallant has in mind for the university. Education and technology, two important factors in any university, are also being looked at.
Technology is a huge part of a college student’s education and Tallant is looking to update TAMUK’s classrooms with the latest technology.
Tallant said classrooms in Sam Fore Hall would be the first to be updated.
“Students are going to be pleased with what we’ve done to those classrooms and all the technology that is available to them over there,” he said.
TAMUK’s computer labs currently use Windows XP but in April, the computers will be updated or replaced with Windows 7 by the end of Spring.
According to Tallant, TAMUK is running out of classrooms. He plans to build a new state of the art building entirely for classrooms in the near future.
“We’re going around updating classrooms making them better fitted for technology, but we still need a new classroom building and we’re starting those plans now,” he said.
“I’m excited about the growth of the university and the student body and how the university is attracting more academically prepared students,” Tallant said as he compared this year to last year.
“We are continuing to grow tremendously. This is probably the largest spring semester we’ve seen in 30 years. Our enrollment as of today compared to last year is up to twelve percent. Most of the growth is from graduate programs and dual enrollment. We’re teaching high school students all over south Texas, bringing additional money to us,” Tallant said.
Tallant said TAMUK is trying to get a master’s degree program in Cultural Studies and a doctorate’s program in Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering.
“The vision for this university is continued growth and we continue to look at programs that are irrelevant and are going to help students get the jobs that they need when they graduate,” he said. “It’s an exciting time to be here and I’m anticipating a very good spring semester.”