Texas Tech University has broken ground on a new education and research center.

On Friday, ground was broken for the new Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, located at 2908 18th Street.

The new facility will have 28,458 square feet of space for clinical facilities, including the Burkhart Transition Academy, Teacher Preparation Academy, and other outreach programs.

Also included in the new center will be laboratories, academic offices, and a nationally branded café, in addition to an outdoor play area, public art, and landscape enhancements.

“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.”

Construction is expected to be completed by August 2013.