By David Diaz
Texas Border Business
A plan to build a $42.5 million Interdisciplinary Engineering and Academic Studies Building at the Edinburg campus of The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley will be considered on Thursday, July 10, in Austin by the UT System Board of Regents, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, led by Edinburg Mayor Richard García, featured left, has announced.
This project would create an additional 124,304 GSF (gross square feet) with 80,798 assignable square feet of much needed space. The spaces will include a large lecture auditorium with a 250-seat capacity, several 150-seat lecture halls, 60-seat classrooms, and about 200 faculty offices,” according to a UT System synopsis. “The project will also include an outdoor pavilion to be used as a gathering area and study space to relieve pressure on more expensive indoor space and also to support academic events.”
The $42.5 million complex in Edinburg is part of a package of proposed major renovations or new facilities at nine UT System campuses, totaling more than $1.5 billion, that also would include UT-Arlington ($310 million), (UT-Austin $205 million), the Brownsville campus of UT-RGV ($155.5 million), UT-Dallas ($194 million), UT-El Paso ($235 million) UT-Permian Basin ($68.4 million) UT-San Antonio ($157.5 million), and UT-Tyler ($76 million).
Most of the money for the new construction and renovations would come from tuition revenue bonds, which is money generated from tuition charges levied against students or universities.
As more students are enrolled, more money is generated that is used to repay the debt from tuition revenue bonds. The Texas Legislature in 2015 must authorize the issuance of tuition revenue bonds. Dr. Guy Bailey, the president of UT-RGV, is also featured in this photograph, taken on Wednesday, July 2, at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance as part of an appearance by Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. Photograph by Mark Montemayor