Universities and colleges
Odessa is home to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which has its primary campus in Odessa. Other University facilities include The Center for Energy and Economic Diversification (CEED) and the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin has a main campus located in downtown Odessa and the Physician Assistant Program located on the campus of Midland College.
There are four public school districts in the metropolitan area.
- Ector County Independent School District
- Midland Independent School District
- Greenwood Independent School District
- Andrews Independent School District
Odessa is served by Midland International Airport (MAF), located between Odessa and Midland, the core cities. This airport serves as a regional hub for cities and towns throughout the Permian Basin. Odessa Schlemeyer Airport and Midland Air Park also serve as an option for smaller jets.
EZ-Rider is the public transportation provider in Midland and Odessa, Texas. They provide fixed-route bus service and ADA curb-to-curb ParaTransit service within the urbanized areas of both cities.
ECONOMY IN ODESSA
Odessa is at the industrial and commercial crossroads of West Texas.
Ranked #2 in “Job Growth” by Forbes and also ranked in their “Best Places for Business and Careers”. Neighbor Midland, this city was named the fourth top city in America by Inc.com and newgeography.com in their 2008 survey of the “Best Cities for Doing Business.”
The city is about halfway between Dallas–Fort Worth and El Paso and is the Ector County seat. The metropolitan area is within the 100-mile–radius Permian Basin. The region is in the heart of the largest single source of oil and gas deposits in the United States. Together, the education system and the oil and gas industry primarily support the local economy with Odessa taking steps to diversify the energy it provides with ventures in wind, clean coal and nuclear energy being explored.
In 2003 Family Dollar constructed its seventh distribution center, in its industrial complex, since then Telvista, an incoming call center, and Coca-Cola Enterprises have relocated to this complex located on Interstate 20.
SPORTS IN ODESSA
Odessa is home to the Odessa Jackalopes, junior ice hockey team, plays its home games at Ector County Coliseum. High school football is also popular. Ratliff Stadium, which was featured in the movie Friday Night Lights, is home to the Odessa Bronchos and the Permian Panthers. It is one of the largest high school stadiums in the state.
PERFORMING ARTS IN ODESSA
The areas favorite performing arts center, Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center, host a wide array of national talents to our area; from Loretta Lynn to Jerry Seinfeld. The Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale (MOSC)] has performed in the Permian Basin for over 51 years, and is the region’s largest orchestral organization, presenting both Pops and Masterworks concerts throughout the year. The Globe of the Great Southwest, located on the campus of Odessa College, the community college in Odessa, features an authentic replica of William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It hosts plays and other community groups throughout the year, as well as an annual Shakespeare festival.
Built in 1951, the Ector Theater served as one Odessa’s finest theaters until it closed. Today, the renovated 700-seat theater provides the community with classic movies, live theatrical productions, and concerts.
The Permian Playhouse has provided music, dance, drama, suspense, and comedy for over 40 years.
GEOGRAPHY OF ODESSA
Odessa is located along the southwestern edge of the Llano Estacado in West Texas. It is situated above the Permian Basin, a large sedimentary deposit that contains significant reserves of oil and natural gas.
The Midland–Odessa combined statistical area, informally known as the Petroplex is located on Interstate 20 in West Texas in a petroleum rich area called the Permian Basin.
The La Entrada al Pacífico trade corridor, “Trade Corridor 56”, is a route from the Pacific Ocean port in Mexican to Texas by way of the Odessa area.
PARKS IN ODESSA
The City of Odessa Parks for public use include 2 water parks, 38 baseball/softball fields, 26 soccer fields, 8 basketball courts, 5 sand volleyball courts, 16 tennis courts, exercise, hike & bike trails and 2 disc golf courses.
Area Golf Courses near Odessa include Odessa Country Club, Ratliff Ranch, Sunset, Green Tree, Ranchland Hills, Nueva Vista, Hogan Park, and Midland Country Club.
HISTORY OF ODESSA
Odessa was founded in 1881 as a water stop and cattle-shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway. The first post office opened in 1885. Odessa became the county seat of Ector County in 1891 when the county was first organized. It became an incorporated city in 1927, after oil was discovered in Ector County on the Connell Ranch southwest of Odessa.
The name supposedly comes from railroad workers who claimed it reminded them of the Odessa region in the south of Russia. The name did spring up at the same time the Texas and Pacific tracks were set down in July of 1881.