A new autism education and research facility has been officially opened at Texas Tech University.

On Friday, Tech officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the new Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, located at 2908 18th Street.

“We are incredibly thankful for the support of the Burkharts, who have supported the center’s mission from the very beginning,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “The future of the program is exciting, and we look forward to making groundbreaking movements in autism research right here at Texas Tech.”

The center was previously housed in the College of Education building, and now has almost 28,500 square feet of space for clinical facilities.

The center will also soon offer the Early Intensive Intervention Center, which will be available to patients from diagnosis to six years old. The program will focus on rigorous one-on-one therapy for up to three hours a day per child.

Established in 2005, the center is named for Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart, who have made significant contributions to the establishment and mission of the center.

“Although the facility is new, our mission remains the same,” said Jim Burkhart. “We will continue striving to improve the quality of life for those affected by autism and serve the ongoing need for research and instruction as our program enters this exciting next chapter.”

Assistant Professor Wesley Dotson discussed the center on Friday morning's edition of Lubbock's First News as well.