Tarleton campus construction in full swing for Fall 2021
STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University is on the grow, setting enrollment records for the fourth consecutive term, adding academic programs to meet regional market demand, and creating the best spaces for students to learn, discover and live.
Summer construction and beautification plans for the Stephenville campus call for remodeling the student center, enhancing pedestrian walkways, adding parking, improving athletic facilities and revitalizing a university touchstone.
“Great learning requires facilities that create impact,” said university President James Hurley. “We’re renovating some and building more to transform educational opportunities for all Tarleton Texans.”
Barring weather delays, projects should be completed prior to start of the fall semester.
“This group of projects will touch almost everybody on campus, instead of focusing on just one area,” said David Martin, associate vice president for Campus Operations. “A lot of the projects have to do with safety and the student experience. They should have a great impact on our campus.”
The Barry B. Thompson Student Center will gain a refurbished Chick-fil-A with more menu choices. The food court is getting additional seating and a large video board, and renovations are ongoing at the campus bookstore as the switch to university management is completed.
Navigating the campus will get easier thanks to a new pedestrian walkway running from the Dick Smith Library, Joe W. Autry Agriculture Building corridor to the student center. The walkway — one of several across campus — will enhance safety, promote ADA compliance and keep people from walking through a parking area.
The intersection of Sloan and Rome streets, near Wisdom Gym and tennis courts, will receive a new look and safety enhancements. The streets will be aligned for safer vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and ADA-compliant crosswalks added.
The former Neebo Bookstore parking lot near Wisdom Gym will be transformed into a food truck court with LED lighting and utility hookups. The area can also serve as overflow parking. The Venture Apartments on Jones Street will be razed to construct parking.
Both fields in the baseball/softball complex are undergoing transformations. The diamonds will get a state-of-the-art playing turf surface, new fencing and LED lighting to meet Division I standards.
Tarleton’s new rodeo digs will see improvements, too. Fans will have more space to watch the action as bleachers will be added, and ropers and riders will have more room to warm up as the main arena is extended.
Residence Hall renovations continue, including adding outdoor benches, and the campus dog park will be finished. The new Aquatics Center should be ready for use in early September.
The landmark Smokestack underwent a facelift. Following an inspection to ensure structural integrity, it was scraped, sanded, sealed and painted.
“This was a fun project that should preserve this campus icon for years to come,” Martin said.