Construction is expected to begin next year on a $70 million Engineering Classroom and Research Building at Prairie View A&M University. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the plans at its meeting on Oct. 31.

Lab spaces will be designed for multidisciplinary research with dedicated areas to support 3D manufacturing, space exploration, data analytics and artificial intelligence, robotics, structural analysis, and more. The three-story building, with an adjacent high-bay facility, will include offices and classrooms to accommodate for recent, rapid growth in PVAMU’s engineering program.

“Investing in Prairie View’s potential is a top priority for the Texas A&M University System,” said John Sharp, chancellor for the System. “Over the past decade, we’ve invested more than $247 million at Prairie View, recruiting top professors and building everything from a new stadium, the Agriculture and Business Classroom Building, the Fabrication Center, new student housing, and a new Student Recreation Center.”

The Board of Regents amended the Texas A&M University System Capital Plan for 2020 to 2024, with a tentative start date next year for the project. Funding will come from the state’s Permanent University Fund.

Since 2016, enrollment at PVAMU has increased nine-percent, from 8,762 to 9,516, with 1,513 students a part of the engineering program.