Ranger College celebrated the opening of a big addition to its campus Wednesday afternoon, the Advanced Training and Child Development Centers.

Attendees heard remarks from several speakers including Dr. Bill Campion, president of Ranger College; Dr. Karen Murray, of Tarleton State University; and Matt Underwood, superintendent of Stephenville ISD.

“We’re adding EMT/paramedics, fire science shortly, we’re also really expanding the welding offerings, opening the machining opportunity, and opening an engineering manufacturing technology program,” Campion said.

Murray congratulated Ranger College saying it was a wonderful opportunity for the community.

“Our state higher education coordinating board has set a new strategic plan for the state of Texas called 60 by 30 and their goal is for 60 percent of Texas citizens between the ages of 25 to 35 to have a post high school credential by 2030, and those credentials include certificate associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees,” Murray said. “That is a tall order because 2030 is just 13 years away and so it's important for our community to be able to say that we offer every level of higher education and will contribute to the state’s goals. This truly is helping us provide the entire spectrum of educational opportunities to Stephenville.”

Underwood also expressed the importance of the step forward in being able to now offer welding and machining dual credit courses at Stephenville High School.

“This is my third experience with a community college and no one works with a school district the way Ranger College does,” Underwood said. “In the past three years we have doubled our dual credit offerings and the kids that are getting dual credit at Stephenville High School.”

The Stephenville Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting before attendees made their way inside the building for tours.

The facility is split to house the child development center in one section and the training center in the other.

“I’ve been serving on the Ranger College advisory board for several years now and there are so many things going on behind the scenes and countless individuals that are business owners, plant managers, with the school system who are volunteering their time to help bring something like this to fruition,” said Chamber President July Danley.