News Releases 2008

LETU Announces New Home For Aviation Program

Wed, Jun 4 2008

LeTourneau University School of Aeronautical Science will soon have a new home. LeTourneau University President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford announced today that the university’s aviation program will move entirely from the Longview campus into a newly acquired 50,000-square- foot facility, formerly occupied by ARMS, at 200 Airpark Drive at the East Texas Regional Airport.
Gregg County commissioners are expected to approve LETU’s lease of the
2.6 acres where the building is located just south of FM 349. All land adjacent to the airport belongs to the county.
The facility with renovations is expected to cost the university an estimated $6 million. The main building includes nearly 39,000 square feet with a 10,000-square-foot airplane hangar. Renovations will add classrooms, labs, offices and meeting spaces. About 250 students and over 30 faculty and staff will move into facilities by fall of 2009.
“Aeronautical Science students will continue to live in our residence halls, go to chapel and take their general education courses as they have at the university campus on Mobberly Avenue, but all of their major studies coursework will take place at the new East Texas Regional Airport campus,” Lunsford said.  “Once the move to the airport is complete, this investment will also open space on our main campus for the expansion of other programs.”
The move represents the university’s largest building acquisition since building the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center in 2006.
The new facility provides expansion room for one of the university’s flagship programs and enables the university’s facilities to be comparable with other top flight aeronautical science programs in the nation.
LETU will plan to sell its current facility, which was built in 1984 and includes a 7,600-square-foot building with a 3,800-square-foot hangar.
“This new facility will enable the school to add new programs to meet its goal of doubling student enrollment in the next ten years,” said Fred L. Ritchey, dean of the School of Aeronautical Science. “It also will unite the school’s aviation program all at one location for the first time since the mid-1960s.”
Last year, the university added two concentrations in mission aviation and military aviation. This fall, the university will begin offering two new degree concentrations: flight management and flight marketing.
One of the new programs the university hopes to offer includes training for air traffic controllers. The school applied in March to the FAA to provide the FAA AT-CTI program. Final notification from the FAA is not expected until sometime in July. Currently, there is no AT-CTI school in the state of Texas.
LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian university of nearly 4,000 students with academic majors in the aeronautical sciences, business, education, engineering, the liberal arts and sciences. LeTourneau University is located in Longview, Texas, but also offers business degrees and teacher certification programs online and at education centers in Austin, Bedford, Dallas, Houston and Tyler.
To see a short video of today’s announcement go to this link on
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFXq3u21Q0k