By Lynda Lopez
ROSENBERG – Texas State Technical College’s newest campus opened its doors in Fort Bend County on Monday, August 29, 2016, in time for the first day of classes for the Fall Semester.
More than 250 students are enrolled in the new 126-thousand-square-foot technical facility and over 40 faculty and support staff are now calling the TSTC building, located off Highway 59 between FM Road 2218 and Highway 36, home.
“This is a great day for TSTC and the Fort Bend Community,” said Vice Chancellor and Chief Execution Officer Randy Wooten. “One year ago this was a mud hole, just a muddy field, and today we have a state-of-the-art technical facility in place to serve the students of this region.”
Wooten credits unwavering community support for TSTC’s expanded presence in Fort Bend County. The city of Rosenberg, city of Richmond, city of Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Sprint Waste Services, the George Foundation and the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation together donated $40 million to finance the first-phase construction of the technical facility.
City officials and foundation representatives have been touring the facility over the past couple of weeks in anticipation of today’s opening.
“Impressed is not strong enough of a word. Our partners can’t believe we were able to get this campus up in such a short period of time,” said Wooten. “But, TSTC has learned how to do startups better. In the past five years we’ve had startups in Hutto (Williamson County) and Red Oak (North Dallas). We applied lessons learned there to this Fort Bend campus.”
TSTC in Fort Bend will offer seven different career options: Cyber Security; Industrial Maintenance Technology; Telecommunications Convergence Technology; Welding Technology; Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Technology; Diesel Equipment Technology; and Precision Machining Technology.
Daniel Delatorre was excited to start the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning program today. The 37-year-old Richmond native worked for an energy technology company but faced layoffs when there was a downturn in the oil industry.
“It was time for a new career. The last time I went to college, in 2001, I had to travel into Houston 45 minutes away,” said Delatorre. “Having TSTC so close to home is going to be convenient. I’m excited about my future.”
Nineteen-year-old Christian Garcia, a recent graduate of Foster High School in Rosenberg, said he chose to come to TSTC for economic reasons.
“I am going to save money on gas. I have a place to stay. My parents are glad I am going to stay so close to home,” explained Garcia.” This is a great opportunity for me.”
Vice Chancellor of Operations Elton Stuckly, on hand for the first day of classes, was quick to point out that this is only the beginning.
“The future is bright. This campus is only going to grow. This will one day be one of the largest campuses for Texas State Technical College,” boasted Dr. Stuckly. “Given the location and proximity to Houston and industry, this will be big.”
TSTC will break ground on a second 50-thousand-square-foot building in the next week, depending on the weather. Ultimately, the Fort Bend campus will grow to hold six to eight buildings and is projected to support more than 5,000 students.
A community celebration and ribbon cutting is scheduled for the evening of October 6. TSTC administrators will be joined by community leaders and elected officials to officially commemorate the grand opening of the Fort Bend campus.
For more information on TSTC in Fort Bend and technologies being offered or to schedule a tour, go online at tstc.edu or call 346-239-3405.