BRYAN, TX – The $2.2 million Robert E “Bob” Wiatt Physical Skills Training Complex at the Texas A&M Riverside Campus was dedicated May 16 at a ceremony that drew Texas A&M University System dignitaries, local law enforcement officials, cadets from the Central Texas Police Academy and family and friends of the late Robert E. “Bob” Wiatt. The training facility was named in honor of the local legendary law enforcement professional who served as an FBI agent and Director of Security and Police at Texas A&M University, as well as an instructor at the police academy.
Built by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, the 10,500-square-foot multi-purpose facility will primarily serve the cadets of TEEX’s Central Texas Police Academy. The facility contains a 3,100-square-foot multi-use instructional area where traditional classroom, defensive tactics and other aerobic training will be conducted, a state-of-the-art weight and cardio training area, along with showers and locker rooms. Adjacent to the building is a circuit training exercise and running track.
Among those who spoke at the ribbon-cutting and dedication were Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M System Regent Jim Schwertner, TEEX CEO Gary Sera and Public Safety & Security Division Director Tom Shehan. William T. “Bill” Harper, author of “Eleven Days in Hell,” spoke about “The Life and Times of Bob Wiatt.” Wiatt’s son, Jeff Wiatt, gave the family’s response, commenting that the facility is a fitting tribute to the lifelong “fitness fanatic.”
“This building has been a strategic goal for the division for many years,” Shehan said. “Although our desire has always been to provide participants in both the Central Texas Police Academy and other division training programs with access to a facility like the Wiatt Building, meeting the financial requirements before the project could be initiated always remained the primary challenge. After three years of preparation, the hard work and perseverance of our entire staff has helped us to open this building.”
The training complex is located at the corner of 5th Street and Avenue D on the Riverside Campus in Bryan, and includes a display of many of Chief Wiatt’s awards and memorabilia on loan from Mrs. Ann Wiatt, as well as a historical display featuring from the history of Texas extension law enforcement training and the Riverside Campus.
The building was designed by PDG Architects, and the contractor was Rosenberger Construction of Houston.