Texas State University will begin major construction projects in 2016 to address increasing enrollment in two fast-growing programs.
The Texas Legislature’s passage of a tuition revenue bond bill in the 84th session, which ended June 1, will provide the university with $63 million to go toward construction of a new $93 million engineering building at the San Marcos campus and $48.6 million to go toward construction of a new $67 million health professions building in Round Rock.
Between 2010 and 2014 the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the engineering program has more than doubled from 41 to 84. Enrollment in the program has also increased from 62 students in 2005 to 840 students in 2015. Enrollment in the health professions program has doubled during the past five years, according to a news release.
On June 22 the university also announced a $5 million donation from the St. David’s Foundation to help fund construction of the health professions building.
“At St. David’s Foundation, we really like to invest in projects that address future health care needs facing our community,"said Earl Maxwell, chief executive officer of St. David’s Foundation, in a news release. "Providing this funding is a wise investment for our area’s future, as it will support more students who are pursuing health care careers. We are delighted that Texas State will be able to leverage our dollars to bring even more support for the project.”
In February the university announced a $5 million pledge from Bruce and Gloria Ingram to go toward construction of the new engineering building. Additionally, Ingram Readymix Inc. has pledged 20,000 cubic yards of concrete, valued at $2.1 million, for the new building.
Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services, said the university system has released a request for proposal for architecture and engineering firms as well as a construction company to handle the projects. The proposals will likely be brought to the board of regents in May and construction would begin 90-180 days after approval by the board.
Nance said the approved funding in the TRB bill will not address the total cost of constructing both buildings, so the university will rely on philanthropic gifts such as the donations from the St. David’s Foundation and the Ingrams as well as institutional funding.
“Both buildings are going to be fully constructed, but because of the short fall in the funding we may have to shell out some of the space, where the building is built but some of the space is essentially constructed but not finished out for occupation until we have additional funding down the road,” said Bill Nance, vice-president of finance and support.”
The new health professions building will include 107,000 square feet and will provide space for a 35 percent enrollment increase in health professions programs.