Engineering Research Building Dedication
March 4, 2011
Thank you, Provost Bobbitt. And thank you all for joining us on this historic day for UT Arlington.
Any time we dedicate a new building—and we’ve done that a lot lately—it’s historic simply for what it adds to our campus infrastructure. But today is extra special…because this facility is extra special.
This is much more than new structure. It’s made of so much more than bricks, stone, and steel. And it stands as much more than a gateway to our campus. The Engineering Research Building is a pathway to our future. It is the most significant academic building constructed on our campus in the past 20 years.
It symbolizes our rapid climb toward becoming Tier One in research and teaching. It brings together scientists and engineers who are focused on solving the problems of our society and pushing the envelope of our knowledge. It’s where improbable becomes possible. It serves as a catalyst for economic development and job-creation; the lynchpin of our partnership with so many science, engineering, and technology companies in North Texas; and it defines our place in a new world where innovation is essential.
It’s also a piece of remarkable engineering itself—a facility that’s high-tech to the keel and low-emission to the core. This building was constructed with a focus on environmental stewardship and preserving our natural resources, and I’m proud to say that we expect to achieve LEED Gold Certification with the United States Green Building Commission.
I’ve just recited a long list of impressive features that define this structure. But when you tour this amazing building in a few minutes, you’ll see for yourself that what’s most impressive isn’t the size or the beauty of the architecture—though both are awe-inspiring—but rather, the students and faculty who are expanding knowledge here every day.
It seems like we’ve been talking about this building for years. And we have. I remember that in my first few months as President seven years ago, we made this our number one priority. Now it is complete. And, let me add, it was completed on schedule and under-budget…in fact, it was about $11 million under budget! My thanks to John Hall, our vice president for Administration and Campus Operations; and his outstanding team; and so many of our faculty and staff for their superb stewardship.
Special thanks also to Bill Carroll, our Engineering dean, whose meticulous planning for this building made a huge contribution to this highly successful endeavor.
Now, it’s time to celebrate the realization of this extraordinary complex. And as we formally open the doors, we note that while the construction on this site may be complete…the work here is just beginning.
The teaching and research that is already occurring here will transform our university, our community, and our society in ways we cannot yet imagine. This is the new home for innovation in North Texas, and it’s officially part of UT Arlington’s Tier One Express!
And now, it’s my privilege to introduce someone without whose determination, perseverance, and skillful advocacy we would not be here today dedicating this landmark facility—Senator Chris Harris.
Almost half of the funds needed to construct this building came from Tuition Revenue Bonds that Senator Harris helped secure. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Senator Harris and his colleagues in the Texas Legislature for this.
Senator Harris grew up in a neighborhood that today includes our campus. I don’t think he could have imagined a facility like this one positioned just a few hundred yards from his boyhood home.
We’re always proud to have Senator Harris back home on our campus. Please welcome a great friend to UT Arlington and a great friend to me as well…Senator Chris Harris.
[SEN. HARRIS SPEAKS]
Thank you, Senator Harris. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you this legislative session.
We’re also honored to be joined by our strongest ally in Washington, D.C. Representative Joe Barton has served the Sixth District of Texas—which includes the UT Arlington campus—since 1984. In 2004, he was selected as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. He is also the ranking Republican and Chairman Emeritus of the full Energy and Commerce Committee.
For almost 30 years, Chairman Barton’s chief agenda in Washington has been energy policies and deregulation of the energy industry. The Wall Street Journal called him “The House GOP’s leading expert on energy policy.”
Please welcome…a great engineer and a great friend…Congressman Joe Barton.