A new chapter for higher education in the Texas Hill Country begins August 21 with ground breaking for a new 24,000 square foot classroom facility for higher education. The ground breaking will take place on-site at a 68-acre tract owned by the City of Fredericksburg located on US 290 East just two miles east of the downtown area, next to Fort Martin Scott.
The new facility will be home to the Hill Country University Center. The Center will house five partner schools including: Austin Community College, offering core curriculum; Texas Tech University at Fredericksburg, offering upper division curriculum to complete undergraduate degrees and graduate degree programs; Angelo State University offering graduate education degree programs; Concordia University offering a business program and Schreiner University.
The Center is the start of a permanent facility in the Hill Country for higher education that began as a vision of a few people in the early 1990’s to bring higher education to Fredericksburg. A steering committee comprised of local people began the work that brings us where we are today. With the initial start of evening classes held at Fredericksburg High School, beginning in 1994, to date over 9000 students have attended courses. The addition of Texas Tech to the higher education format in 2003 expanded the services to students who come from a 100-mile radius to attend.
The Phase 1 building will include interactive video classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, a large lecture hall and offices. The dedicated facility will make it possible to expand curriculum, increase enrollment and attract additional educational partners.
The land has been leased from the City of Fredericksburg and the facility will be built with private donations. The Center will be built, owned and operated by the Hill Country University Center Foundation. This non-profit organization of Hill Country volunteers has been raising money for three years to help jump-start the building of the facility.
Support from the community is still needed as the program of work moves forward and additional facilities will be needed. Anyone wishing to donate can contact Jimmy Sparks, Executive Director of the Foundation, or visit www.hcucenter.org.
Included in the August 21 program will be booths by the education partners, models and plans of the facility, representatives from the steering committee and the foundation board.
James Kemp, president of the Higher Education University Center Foundation said, “Everyone is invited to the 11 a.m. program, ground breaking, festivities, followed by a free barbeque lunch served at 12 noon.”