The leadership of TSTC North Texas Extension Center and Red Oak ISD invite the community to join them in breaking ground on the new Industrial Technology Center, a $10 million, 102,000-square-foot technical education facility. The groundbreaking will occur at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 24 just behind Red Oak High School, 122 Texas 342.

On Oct. 16, 2013, The TSTC Foundation agreed to fund the construction of this first building of the expansive TSTC North Texas campus on the property deeded from Red Oak ISD in Ellis County and entered into a lease arrangement with TSTC.

Soon after, the Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve the deeding of 29.5 acres of land to Texas State Technical College to construct the Industrial Technology Center.

"The Industrial Technology Center is on schedule to be available for classes in Fall 2014," said Ray Fried, Associate Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services for TSTC. The building will include labs and classrooms for high voltage electrical systems, welding, diesel, and machining career training. The design engineer is Corgan Associates, Inc. of Dallas. Bartlette Cocke, also of Dallas, is serving as contractor for the building project.

With the urging of Ellis County citizens and the leadership of State Rep. Jim Pitts, and Sen. Brian Birdwell, who paved the way for the legislative creation of a TSTC extension center in Ellis County, TSTC began offering dual credit technical education to Red Oak High School students in Fall 2013. TSTC North Texas will reveal a comprehensive dual credit program later this month to area superintendents, high school principals and counselors.

College classes began Jan. 13 in the Red Oak Junior High Career and Technical Education building, preparing students for careers in computer systems and network administration, computer systems desktop support, computer systems cyber security, and computer aided drafting.

By summer 2014, additional training will prepare students for careers in HVAC, welding theory, and industrial maintenance.

"We have charged forward serving first students from Red Oak ISD, then all area ISDs," said Jim Rowland, Colonel (ret.), USAF, TSTC North Texas Provost. "In the fall, when we occupy the new building, TSTC will be prepared to serve anyone looking to advance his or her career opportunities."

"The speed to which the team made this concept a reality is admirable," said TSTC President Randall Wooten. "I look forward to the day when TSTC North Texas is a sprawling campus developing the future workforce of North Texas."

"Not every community is able to enjoy such rapid growth and expansion without citizens seeing an increase in their taxes," said Red Oak Superintendent Dr. Scott Niven. "I could not be more proud of the way our community came together to partner with TSTC to strengthen the career outlook for North Texans. The visionary leadership of our school board will benefit generations to come," added Niven.

TSTC Chancellor Michael L. Reeser agreed, saying "None of this could have been possible were it not for the foresight of the citizens, the leadership of our legislators and the resulting collaborative spirit of Red Oak ISD, other area superintendents, the city leadership, and The TSTC Foundation."

For more information, or to register for admission at TSTC North Texas, go to www.tstc.edu/red_oak or call 972-617-4723.