YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Friday afternoon, what used to be an empty space at Youngstown State University now has new life.

The new Watson Team Center opened on campus, taking over the old Youngstown Plant Shop and converting it into a large space where students can design, create and then ultimately build their various projects for national and international competitions.

Engineering students working on their senior year capstone projects now have a new space to do so while learning about teamwork at the same time.

“Every sing year this capstone project for our seniors is something they work on every sing year for an entire year,” said Jared Bryarly, an engineering student at YSU.

YSU President Jim Tressel helped open this facility on Rayen Avenu. The center is named for the parents of Tressel’s wife Ellen, Frank and Norma Watson.

“We’re gonna build teams. We’re gonna build students that can go out and become parts of other teams and make a difference in our region,” Tressel said.

Until now, engineering students have literally had to work all over at different buildings on campus and off campus to do their projects. Now, they can do it all in one location.

“We operate in a really small lab for right now, and we have three different competition teams that are working together. It’s very cramped and anytime we want to work, we have to move to other labs,” said Brandon Malahtaris, an engineering student at YSU.

Students will now be able to work on computer designs and machine needed parts and then assemble them all under one roof with the goal of competing with other teams from around the world. Students with “Penguin Baja Racing” have been entering their designs since the 1990s.

“You can learn how do I make this part? So, it can be made, and we make it here. It’s really a great experience to see your design come from the computer to life and finally racing at the end of the year,” said Katie Chludzinski, an engineering student at YSU.