$60 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds to build dynamic research facility
The bill represents the largest Tuition Revenue Bond package for higher education ever passed by the Texas Legislature, nearly $1.9 billion. In addition, the $60 million for the Health Science Center is the largest in the Centerís history.
Gov. Perry, an aggressive proponent of higher education, medicine and the biosciences, selected the Health Science Center as the site of his San Antonio visit. "The pleasure of hosting the Governorís visit was all ours, because this Governor is one who understands the value of research and development, of investing in the health and well-being of all Texans, and of enhancing the education of health care professionals for the South Texas Border Region that we serve," Dr. Cigarroa said.
The Health Science Center will receive $60 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds to partially fund significant construction of a $150 million research building called the South Texas Research Facility in the 8400 block of Floyd Curl Drive in the South Texas Medical Center. One month after Gov. Perryís visit, The University of Texas System Board of Regents authorized allocation of $40 million in Permanent University Fund proceeds for the building. The remainder of the funding will be from private philanthropy. The building will be adjacent to the Childrenís Cancer Research Institute, a premier facility that the Health Science Center opened in 2004, and will be across the street from the future ambulatory and research clinic, a $95 million facility approved recently by the Board of Regents.
Dr. Cigarroa also praised the Bexar County and South Texas delegations, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Ph.D., for her leadership as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Capital Funding for Higher Education.
When completed, the South Texas Research Facility will add 250,000 gross square feet of new research space to the Health Science Center and help address the institutionís space deficit, which has increased as its internationally recognized research enterprise has grown.
"The South Texas Research Facility will very positively impact our ability to conduct basic and translational research," Dr. Cigarroa said. "We will focus on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, cancer biology, age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and developing technologies to protect our nation from bioterrorism. Plans also are in place for a new program in metabolic biology and regenerative medicine that will take good advantage of our partnerships with the military and The University of Texas at San Antonio. The latter partnership is through the San Antonio Life Sciences Institute we have established together."
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