Hill Country University Center Construction Underway
New University Center will include administrative offices as well as high tech video conference classrooms and a computer lab.
Written by Sally Logue Post
The HCUC is located east of Fredericksburg and provides students with bachelor's, master's and doctoral level programs. Click to Enlarge.
Texas Tech University and its academic partners in the Hill Country University Center (HCUC) will soon have a new facility to call home.
Construction is underway on a new building at the Fredericksburg‐based campus. The facility will give HCUC a much anticipated bricks and mortar presence and open the door for expansion of course offering. The center has served about 8,000 students since its inception nine years ago without dedicated classroom space.
“This partnership has been an amazing success without its own classrooms,” said Bob Hickerson, Texas Tech’s chief operating officer for off-campus sites. “I can’t imagine the things Texas Tech and our partners can accomplish with this new building. There is one prediction that we could see a 38 percent increase in enrollment once the building is finished.”
The HCUC is just east of Fredericksburg and serves the 15 county-area defined as the Texas Hill Country. Prior to the creation of the HCUC, this area was the largest in Texas not served by a public institution of higher learning.
Several institutions including Texas Tech, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University, Austin Community College and Concordia University offer courses to more than 1,000 students in the HCUC’s current temporary facilities.
“Everyone contributes the programs they do best,” Hickerson said. “No one duplicates the other university or colleges’ offerings. The completion of the new facility will provide better facilities for our students and faculty.”
Construction is expected to take approximately eight months. The building will include six video conference classrooms, a computer lab, administrative offices and two large classrooms, separated by a removable wall.
“We are deeply gratified to see the first structure on the immediate horizon,” said HCUC executive director Jimmy Sparks. “The building is completely funded and will serve as yet another milestone in the journey of bringing higher education to the Hill Country. Our next focus will be on raising funds to equip, landscape and furnish the building and provide scholarships for our students.”
HCUC provides students with a broad range of undergraduate courses as well as eight master’s level programs and two doctoral programs. Texas Tech offers two bachelor’s degrees, three master’s degrees, a superintendent certification preparation program and a doctorate in educational leadership.
Hickerson points to the superb cooperation of the five institutions and the support of the area residents as the reasons for HCUC’s success.
“This is an area that was without easy access to higher education,” said Hickerson. “By joining forces with other institutions, we are able to offer a broader range of courses, and offer more educational and career opportunities to the residents of the Hill Country.”