Groundbreaking for Phase III Tomorrow at A&M International

Ground will be broken for a $49.5 million Phase III expansion of Texas A&M International University Thursday, Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m. west of Pellegrino Hall.

A variety of state dignitaries and local business and civic leaders will join students, faculty, staff and alumni for the brief ceremonies.

The Phase III expansion will see campus facilities grow an additional 60%, said A&M International president Charles Jennett.

"This first part of the Phase III expansion will bring 260,000 plus square feet in new facilities, and will include a Student Development Center which will become the focus of student life on campus; a Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade with impressive conference and distance learning capabilities; an Intramural Complex to support our intramural program and additions to our parking and infrastructure," Dr. Jennett explained.

Jennett said the second part of Phase III will focus on construction of a Center for the Fine and Performing Arts to house the University's developing arts program and community cultural events.

He noted Phase III will bring the campus closer to completion and provide its students with a greater array of capabilities and services.

"This will bring this University boldly into the new millennium with a new spectrum of expanded services and capabilities more appropriate for a full University experience. Phase III brings us shoulder to shoulder with our state's finest campuses," he observed.

He noted that the road to Phase III has been paved with the support of countless Laredoans from all walks of life.

"We are deeply appreciative of the support provided for our campus by our legislative team of State Senator Judith Zaffirini, State Representative Henry Cuellar and State Representative Tracy King. These efforts, combined with the partnership of The Texas A&M University System, our county and city leaders, Laredoans and South Texans have helped to make this expansion possible. We look forward to being the major regional university of choice and to helping provide the human capital that will sustain South Texas' growth and development," he said.

Expected completions for Phase III are as follows:

Intramural Sports Complex Fall 2000

Student Development Center Fall 2001

Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade Fall 2001

Fine Arts Complex Late Fall 2001

For additional information on the University's Phase III expansion, contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 956.326.2180, visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library room 268 or email to

Information is also accessible on the University's website: A special preview tour of architectural renderings of Phase III can also be found on the home page.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at