August 24, 2012
Written by Jaryn Jones
The project will create a two-story autism education and research facility that includes 28,458 square feet of space for clinical facilities.
Texas Tech officials today (Aug. 24) broke ground on the new Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, showcasing the impressive success the program has worked for since its establishment.
The project will create a two-story autism education and research facility that includes 28,458 square feet of space for clinical facilities including the Burkhart Transition Academy, Teacher Preparation Academy and outreach program.
“The Burkhart Center has been an outstanding asset to research at Texas Tech,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “We are proud to have a center devoted to autism education and excited about the opportunities the new facility will offer.”
The center will be located at 2908 18th Street, near Boston Avenue, and will house research and support space, class laboratories, academic offices and a nationally branded café. It will also feature an outdoor play area, public art and landscape enhancements.
Established in 2005, the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research is named for Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart who have made significant contributions to the establishment and mission of the center.
“The new facility will allow us to continue our mission of improving the quality of life for those affected by autism while serving the ongoing need for research and instruction,” said Jim Burkhart. “We are thrilled with the growth of the program over the years and look forward to even greater accomplishments in the future.”
Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart have made significant contributions to the establishment of the center.
The Burkhart Center’s primary objectives are to provide support and services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families, train regular and special education teachers, and conduct applied research that will increase the quality of life of those affected by ASD. The center also provides a variety of resources in the areas of adult transitions, technical assistance and community outreach services.
The Burkhart Center is currently located in the College of Education Building. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2013.
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The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research is part of the College of Education and is the premier center in Lubbock for research, education and assistance for families affected by autism.
Research at the center covers three major aspects: developing strategies for the preparation of teachers to meet the needs of students, examining ways to develop parent support networks and preparing individuals with autism as they transition from school to adult services.
The Transition Academy, the center’s flagship program, is home to about 15 teenagers and young adults who have an autism spectrum disorder. They come to campus Monday through Friday to learn job and life skills, including how to live independently, and many have jobs through partnerships with campus and community organization.
The Burkhart Center is named for Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart in honor of their grandson Collin.