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Texas State Technical College and Bartlett Cocke General Contractors celebrated the completion of the steel framing of the Fort Bend campus’s first building with a “Topping Out Party,” Wednesday, March 23 bringing together dozens of community leaders and elected officials.

A long-standing tradition in the construction industry, a Topping Out Ceremony marks the placement of the last structural beam and celebrates the progress and timely construction of a major project.  In this case, a 120-thousand-square-foot building that will house future TSTC classrooms and technical labs. The building, part of phase one of a three-phase project, is on track to be completed early this summer.

“We’re here.  And, we’re here to stay.  We’re grateful for all the support and we’re going to fill this building come August,” boasted Vice Chancellor and Chief Execution Officer Randy Wooten. “This is a big day for TSTC and for the Fort Bend County area.”

TSTC in Fort Bend County sits on 80 acres located on the north side of Highway 59 between FM Road 2218 and Hwy. 36 (1.5 miles east of Hwy. 36.) As part of the celebration, construction employees and TSTC partners were treated to a barbeque meal with all the fixings.

 “We are not only celebrating the hard work and long hours put forth by our construction partners and all the project skilled tradesmen, but it is very special to celebrate the topping out of a facility which will be very instrumental in the training and education of our future skilled technical construction partners,” said Randall J. Pawelek, Chairman and CEO of Bartlett Cocke General Contractors.

The TSTC expansion comes with the encouragement and financial support from the city of Rosenberg, city of Richmond, City of Sugarland, Fort Bend County, Sprint Waste Services, the George Foundation and the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation.  The municipalities and foundations made more than $40 million in contributions to help TSTC expand its educational opportunities in the region.

Community leaders today celebrated what they say is a new era in education. 

“Richmond is particularly underserved in higher education. Now with the downturn in the oil industry people, more than ever, are going to be looking for opportunities and TSTC is here,” said Richmond Mayor Evalyn Moore.

Neighboring Rosenberg Mayor Cynthia McConathy echoed those same sentiments.

TSTC means jobs, economic development and educational opportunities.  It’s a win-win for everyone who lives in this area. There’s a lot of people very excited about this college coming here,” said McConathy.  

TSTC has been serving the Fort Bend County area in a limited capacity for the past 15 years offering three programs – Diesel Technology, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology and Precision Machining Technology.  When the building is complete, TSTC will be adding four new programs including Cyber Security, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Telecommunications Convergence Technology and Welding Technology. 

Ultimately, the TSTC campus will boast six to eight buildings and be able to serve a projected enrollment of five thousand students.

TSTC serves Texas through ten campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater, Waco and Williamson County. TSTC has graduated more than 100,000 students into the state workforce in its 50-year history.

For more information on TSTC in Fort Bend, go online at

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