Waco: College Plans to Raze 488 Homes; Build 250-Bed Student Dormitory
Featured Photo (above): Texas State Technical College-Waco plans to raze nearly 500 World War II-era homes and 20 buildings in a move to become a more modern, complete campus. Image: TSTC
By Edmond Ortiz
Waco (McLennan County)—Texas State Technical College’s main campus in Waco plans to raze 488 World War II-era homes and 20 other structures to develop open green space, and build a 250-bed student dormitory.
Preliminary plans call for the three-phase project to begin later this year, starting with the removal and abatement of 208 houses in the southwestern part of the TSTC campus.
Many of the nearly 500 houses planned for demolition at Texas State Technical College-Waco campus were built during and immediately after World War II. Image: Google Streets
Another 148 houses will be demolished and abated in Phase II, with a final phase involving 132 homes. This work will include removal of decades-old water and sewer lines and a few streets.
Current and recent graduates in good standing with their lease agreement have been able to rent many of the homes.
While the demolition and abatement project unfolds, the college system will build a single-student residence hall to house campus newcomers and students displaced by the demolitions.
The demolitions and new construction are part of the college system’s long-range master plan for the Waco campus.
Ray Fried, associate vice chancellor for facilities, planning and construction, told VBX the overall project is still in the pre-planning phases.
No construction delivery method or timeline has been finalized yet.
Fried added each project action – demolition, abatement and new construction – might be provided a different delivery method.
Fried said an RFQ will be released soon for an environmental consultant.
“From there, we’ll drill down deep and start letting projects,” he added.
The Texas State Technical College campus in Waco sits on part of a former Air Force base. Image: TSTC
The TSTC system is using $29.6 million that the Texas Legislature allocated last year toward the multi-phase project that college officials have said will help to modernize the campus and make it feel more complete.
The site of the planned demolitions will become a green space. College officials have yet to determine whether future development will take place there.
TSTC-Waco sits on what used to be Connally Air Force Base, previously Waco Army Air Field.
The base was constructed immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor spurred the United States’ entrance into WWII.
Over a number of years, military wound up constructing more than 750 homes around the base, using them to house Army Air Corps and Air Force personnel.
The state and the U.S. Air Force struck a deal in the mid-1960s to split use of the base between military functions and James Connally Technical Institute, which eventually became TSTC.
A short time later, when the 12th Air Force closed Connally AFB to moved those operations to Austin’s Bergstrom Air Force Base, the state purchased the base.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.