Regents Add Fort Worth Urban Campus to Capital Plan

The Texas A&M University System News Release image header. Office of Marketing Communications. 979-458-6023

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Thursday gave initial approval to $1.5 billion in future projects, including the first two buildings for an urban research campus in downtown Fort Worth.

Meeting in Fort Worth for the special occasion, the Regents approved a new five-year Capital Plan, including $85 million for a Law and Education Building and another $85 million for a Research and Innovation Center in Fort Worth. The campus will be built on several blocks adjacent to the existing Texas A&M University’s School of Law building, which is also scheduled to be replaced in 2024.

The cost of the Law and Education Building, which is scheduled for 2023 construction, will be paid with proceeds from the Public University Fund. The Research and Innovation Center is scheduled to be built in 2024.

To download new architectural renderings or b-roll of the meeting, please go to https://www.tamus.edu/ft-worth-2022/

Texas A&M System officials briefed the Board on the Fort Worth project in front of an audience of dignitaries and reporters. The urban campus was announced in November, but including the buildings in the Capital Plan is the first step toward final Board approval and construction.

“This past decade has seen a historic construction boom for the A&M System around the state,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “But expansion into the nation’s fastest-growing large city is a game-changer for the A&M System, the city of Fort Worth and the whole Metroplex.”

Fort Worth government and business leaders invited the Texas A&M System to create a research campus to spur innovation and business development. Working with Fort Worth leaders, the A&M System has identified programs in emergency response communication, medical technologies, advanced manufacturing, nutrition, biotechnology, medical laboratory science and nursing as areas of interest.

Thursday’s vote comes just days after Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering announced its intention to offer the first two years of engineering courses at Tarrant College. Students at the Engineering Academy would be co-enrolled in Tarrant County College and Texas A&M. They would take basic courses from Tarrant College faculty while A&M professors would teach the engineering courses. The students then would transfer to the College Station campus to complete their bachelor’s degree.

The Fort Worth project is part of a 5-year, $4.2 billion Capital Plan that includes $2.7 billion of projects that already are in design or construction, plus the $1.5 billion of newly proposed projects.

Other new proposed projects at Texas A&M University include:

  • An $118 million addition to the Clinical Veterinary Teaching & Research Complex, including almost $70 million from PUF proceeds;
  • $175 million for a Visualization, Fine and Performing Arts Building;
  • $40 million for Phase II of The Gardens at Texas A&M University;
  • $75 million for an Aggie Band Residence Hall;
  • $100 million Museum of Natural History.

Other significant proposed projects include:

  • $370 million for new Austin headquarters and State Emergency Operations Center for the Texas Division of Emergency Management;
  • $110 million Convocation Center at Tarleton State University;
  • $58 million for a new event center at A&M-Commerce;
  • $20 million for an addition to the Nursing Education & Research Center in McAllen;
  • $15 million to finish out the EnMed Discovery Tower Labs & Offices in Houston;
  • $11.5 million for a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital in Galveston;
  • $20 million for an addition to the Arts and Media Building at A&M-Corpus Christi;
  • $10.8 million to expand the Western Hemisphere Trade Center at A&M-International in Laredo;
  • $9.4 million for addition to Fine and Performing Arts at A&M-International;
  • $10 million for a research annex at A&M-Central Texas, including $5 million from PUF proceeds.
  • $35 million for Phase III of students housing at A&M-San Antonio;
  • $30 million for the Amarillo Research Extension Center at Canyon, including $20 million from PUF proceeds.

In other business, the Board of Regens approved an operating budget of $7.2 billion, $2.4 billion less than the current operating budget because of a decrease in COVID-19 federal dollars flowing through Texas Division of Emergency Management to other Texas entities.

The Board also authorized Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks to negotiate and execute a ground lease for construction of up to two research and educational buildings on the new TMC3 campus in Houston.

In 2020, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, the Texas Medical Center, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the MD Anderson Cancer Center agreed to construct a Collaborative Research Building to anchor the new biomedical research campus. That building is under construction.


About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $7.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Mike Reilly
Office of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6492
(402) 679–0456 cell
mreilly@tamus.edu

Texas A&M-Kingsville Alumnus, Robert Vela Jr., Named President

The Texas A&M University System News Release image header. Office of Marketing Communications. 979-458-6023

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today confirmed Dr. Robert H. Vela Jr. as the 21st President of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Vela is a 1994 graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a holder of two graduate degrees from that institution. He was named a Distinguished Alumni of Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2015.

He is coming from San Antonio College, where as President he led that school to the 2021 Aspen Prize Winner for Community College Excellence,

“President Vela has demonstrated he is an academic leader who can turn around an institution,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “He also has a deep, abiding love for his alma mater. He will be a great asset.”

Vela has had a lengthy academic career that included leadership roles at Coastal Bend College, A&M-Kingsville, and San Jacinto College before he joined San Antonio College in 2008 as Dean of Student Affairs. He became President in 2014.

He is also President of the National Community College Hispanic Council and served on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges.

Vela succeeds Dr. Mark Hussey, who resigned in December to return to Texas A&M University where he has held multiple leadership roles.  Hussey is serving as Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences until that position is filled. At that time, Hussey will become director of the Borlaug Institute.


About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $9.6 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu