University Construction Crews Busy on Phase III Expansion

Construction cranes and earthmovers are taking their place on the Texas A&M International University campus as work continues on the University's impressive $49.5 million Phase III expansion.

Crews are busy digging holes and pouring concrete support structures for the expansion which will add 260,000 plus square feet in new facilities, said University president Charles Jennett.

"We'll be adding 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; intramural sports fields to support intramural program and additions to parking and infrastructure. Completing Phase III will be a Center for the Fine and Performing Arts," he said.

Dr. Jennett, vice president for finance and administration Joe Garcia, and other University administrators met with members of the media Wednesday to provide them with a tour of the site.

Jennett noted that Phase III will bring the campus closer to completion and provide A&M International 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 premier campuses," he observed.

Jennett said the expansion will help to secure the University's position as a major regional university of choice.

"With Phase III completed, 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 Fields Late Fall 2000

Student Development Center Late Fall 2001

Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade Late Fall 2001

Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Fall 2002

Jennett noted that the University will soon activate a camera that will monitor the construction of Phase III for real-time broadcast on the University's home page,

"We think this will be a great way for our students and community at large to gauge our progress on this historic project. We'll be especially encouraging our alumni worldwide to visit our page and watch their alma mater grow, " he explained.

For additional information on the University's Phase III expansion, please 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:

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