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Education Higher Education bonds: Tarleton, UNTHSC, UTA prepare for new construction

Higher Education bonds: Tarleton, UNTHSC, UTA prepare for new construction

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Since this story originally ran, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the bill authorizing the bonds for construction.

In December, Tarleton State University received an 80-acre gift on the Chisholm Trail Parkway and said it planned to construct a new campus in far southwest Fort Worth.

The Walton Group of Companies, which owns more than 2,000 contiguous acres in the Chisholm Trail corridor, supplied the land.

On May 30, the Texas Legislature supplied the rest of the gift – funding to begin the first building on the campus.

On May 30, the Senate, by a 26-5 vote, approved the conference committee report on House Bill 100. The legislation authorizes $3.1 billion worth of revenue bonds to fund capital projects at public institutions of higher education.

Included in the legislation: approval of the issuance of bonds worth $39.6 million for construction of a “southwest metroplex” building in Tarrant County. In total, the bill awaiting the signature of Gov. Greg Abbott authorizes $3.1 billion worth of construction bonds around the state.

Tarleton officials said they wouldn’t comment on the vote until Abbott signs the legislation, which he is expected to do. Earlier, Tarleton officials said they planned to use the funding from tuition revenue bonds to build a first-phase 125,000-square-foot building for classrooms, student service and administrative functions. The building could represent the first development on the Walton property and provide some higher-education resources to far south Tarrant County.

Construction could begin within 12 to 18 months, Tarleton officials said earlier, putting the campus ready for a 2017 opening. The first phase of the plans could serve 4,000 to 5,000 students. With its current faculty of 100 in Fort Worth, the school now serves 1,600 students. Tarleton’s main campus is in Stephenville.

Aside from being important to Tarleton’s growth, the new campus is expected to help spur growth along the Chisholm Trail Parkway in Southwest Fort Worth.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center received approval to raise bonds worth $80 million for an interdisciplinary research building.

UNT Health Science Center’s plans call for a four-story Interdisciplinary Translational Research Building at the northeast corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Clifton Street. The building will add about 150,000 square feet of research labs, teaching labs, classrooms, study rooms, multimedia learning areas and faculty and administrative offices, according to UNT Health Science Center officials.

The total project cost is estimated at $121 million.

“The design of the building reflects our focus on interprofessional training,” said Jeff Carlton, a spokesman for the school. “We look for every opportunity for our future doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health experts and researchers to learn and train together in the same classrooms and labs.”

Carlton noted that UNT Health Science Center’s last research building opened 11 years ago, in April 2004.

“Since then, our student enrollment, faculty size and research activities have doubled. Our annual research expenditures have increased from $18.5 million in fiscal year 2004 to $40 million in fiscal year 2014,” he said.

Several other North Texas universities also saw projects included in the bond legislation.

The University of Texas at Arlington also saw approval of $70 million in bonds for a science education, innovation and research building.

The University of North Texas received approval for $70 million in bonds for construction and renovation of visual arts and design facilities and the University of North Texas at Dallas got $63 million approved in bonds for construction of a student learning and success center. Texas Woman’s University got $38 million approved for laboratory buildings and Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls received $58 million for an academic expansion and revitalization project.

Tarleton received $54 million for an applied sciences building at its Stephenville campus.

Also included in the legislation:

Texas A&M University – Commerce, $48 million for a nursing and health sciences building.

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, $60 million for a life sciences research and engineering building.

Texas A&M University – Kingsville, $60 million for an educational complex.

Texas A&M University – Texarkana, $32 million for an academic and student services building.

West Texas A&M University, $38 million for an agricultural sciences complex and $7.3 million for the renovation of the Amarillo Center.

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, $72 million for a dental clinic facility at the Baylor College of Dentistry and $72 million for the construction of a multidisciplinary research and education facility in Bryan.

Texas A&M International University, $55 million for library renovations through the addition of instructional and support spaces.

Prairie View A&M University, $29 million for a fabrication center and capital improvements.

Tarleton State University, $54 million for an applied sciences building and $40 million for a “southwest metroplex” building in Tarrant County.

Texas A&M University, $75 million for a biocontainment research facility.

Texas A&M University at Galveston, $60 million for a classroom and laboratory facility and campus infrastructure.

Texas A&M University – Central Texas, $36 million for construction of a multipurpose building.

Texas A&M University – San Antonio, $63 million for a science and technology building and campus infrastructure.

University of Texas at Austin, $75 million for the renovation of Robert A. Welch Hall.

University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, $36 million for a multipurpose academic building in Brownsville and $31 million for an interdisciplinary engineering academic studies building in Edinburg.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, $80 million for construction and renovation of a vivarium and laboratory facilities.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, $80 million for facility renewal and renovation.

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, $70 million for construction of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan building.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, $68 million for a health education center.

University of Texas at Arlington, $70 million for a science education, innovation and research building.

University of Texas at Dallas, $70 million for an engineering building.

University of Texas at El Paso, $70 million for an interdisciplinary research facility.

University of Texas at San Antonio, $70 million for construction of an instructional science and engineering building.

University of Texas at Tyler, $60 million for construction of a STEM building.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, $80 million for the renovation and modernization of educational and research facilities.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, $15 million for the renovation and modernization of educational and research facilities.

University of Texas of the Permian Basin, $48 million for construction of engineering and kinesiology buildings.

University of Houston, $63 million for construction of a health and biomedical sciences center and $54 million for construction of a new academic building in Sugar Land.

University of Houston – Clear Lake, $25 million for construction of a health sciences and classroom building in Pearland and $54 million for construction of a STEM and classroom building.

University of Houston – Downtown, $60 million for construction of a science and technology building.

University of Houston – Victoria, $60 million for academic expansion and land acquisition.

The University of Houston System, $47 million for land acquisition for construction of a building in the Katy area.

Lamar University, $60 million for a science building.

Lamar State College – Orange, $10 million for a multipurpose education building.

Lamar State College – Port Arthur, $8 million for expansion of technology program facilities.

Lamar Institute of Technology, $12.5 million for construction and renovation of technical arts buildings.

Texas State University, $63 million for an engineering and sciences building and $49 million for a health professions building in Round Rock.

Sam Houston State University, $48 million for a biology laboratory building.

Sul Ross State University, $6 million for renovation and modernization of educational and related facilities and infrastructure.

The University of North Texas System, $56 million for renovation of college of law buildings.

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