By Rebecca Rose
Killeen Daily Herald
Texas A&M University-Central Texas students have a new word they can use when talking about their school — campus.
Founder’s Hall, the university’s first permanent building, opened Thursday before a crowd filled with politicians, dignitaries and school officials, employees and supporters.
“I cannot tell you what faculty, students and staff have done (to accomplish this),” said Tracy Teaff, chief liaison officer at the university and master of ceremonies, about the new $40 million building that she called a “labor of love.”
Referring to the school’s history and temporary locations, Teaff said until Founder’s Hall, the university’s more than 2,500 full-time and part-time students never had a campus. “We can use that word now.”
Constructed in less than two years, the 103,000-square-foot building is on the more than 600 acres transferred from the U.S. Army to the Texas A&M University System nearly three years ago. Founder’s Hall will hold administrative offices, classrooms, a lecture hall and the campus bookstore.
“Today’s ceremony … is the accumulation of two decades worth of work by this community,” said state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, who was among several ceremony speakers. “This building is just the beginning of great things (for the university).”
University President Marc A. Nigliazzo closed the event by thanking supporters for their inspiration during the building process. “Celebrate with us what we have become,” he said. “Celebrate what our students will become tomorrow.”
Immediately following the opening ceremony, the university broke ground for its second campus building. The new $50 million facility will house the school’s library, some academic departments, more classrooms and other services in about 125,500 square feet. The second building is expected to be completed in 2014.
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