Belton, Texas – A crowd of 200 gathered on the southern side of the UMHB campus on Friday, September 30, to celebrate a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Baugh Center for the Visual Arts. Wielding colorful shovels decorated for the occasion by UMHB art students, dignitaries broke the ground for the new facility, which will be the first building at UMHB designed for and dedicated to art education.
Special guests for the day were representatives from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, which made a lead gift for construction of the center. President Randy O’Rear expressed appreciation to foundation president Babs Baugh, executive vice president Jackie Moore, and executive director Doug Chiles for the foundation’s support of UMHB and for leading the way with their gift of $1 million for the center.
Junior art major Madeline Phillip and Ted Barnes, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, also expressed gratitude on behalf of the students and faculty, respectively. “This first-rate facility will make it clear that the visual arts are a valued part of a UMHB education, and I believe it will help us attract the very best young artists to our program in the years to come,” Barnes said.
The groundbreaking for the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts was the first to be held for a series of projects outlined in the university’s Campus Master Plan. Work on the $5 million facility will begin immediately, and it is expected to be finished and ready for use next fall.