Date: March 7, 2005
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons,


LUBBOCK – Groundbreaking for the $3.7 million Christine DeVitt Wing at the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University will occur at 1:30 p.m. Saturday (March 12).

The addition, with a basement and ground level, will accommodate offices, curatorial workspace, a boardroom, gallery and reception area. It will open to a landscaped terrace connecting to the existing Pitchfork Ranch Pavilion. A covered walkway will extend the length of the wing. The project also includes enhancements to adjacent parking, landscaping around the addition and incorporation of public art.

“Nearly all of the plans for the expansion of the NRHC’s museum building hinged on acquiring funding to add the new wing,” said Executive Director Jim Pfluger. “We have heard the saying that people support success, but someone had to take the lead and be the first donor. That was the CH Foundation.

“Once the wing is completed, people will see the difference this expansion will make in the ability of the National Ranching Heritage Center to be the kind of museum we want it to be, attracting attention for the university and the historical significance of ranching as an important industry in the West.”

The Christine DeVitt Wing is a long-sought addition to the current DeVitt-Mallet Museum Building, which was conceived as an orientation or visitors’ center. It featured a small area for interpretive exhibits about the Old West. As the mission of the National Ranching Heritage Center evolved over the years to facilitate the interests and requests of some 70,000 visitors and students annually, more space was required.

The wing will join onto the main building on the east. Renovation of current spaces will create new galleries, a public meeting room and a classroom with a children’s library.

“On behalf of the Ranching Heritage Association Executive Committee and the National Advisory Board, which is responsible for our fund-raising success, we are grateful to everyone who supported this extremely important project,” Pfluger said.

The NRHC is located east of Indiana Avenue on Fourth Street in Lubbock. Construction of the 16,000-square-foot facility is coordinated by Texas Tech’s Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, working with Sandia Construction and architect Bill Adling, both of Lubbock. Completion is expected in spring 2006.


CONTACT: Jim Pfluger, executive director, National Ranching Heritage Center, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-0497, ext 232.