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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Expansion Project at Texas A&M University’s McAllen Campus Commences with Groundbreaking Ceremony

Texas A&M University’s expansion in Rio Grande Valley reached a significant milestone recently with the commencement of the construction of the Texas A&M Health Nursing Education and Research Building at the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center in McAllen. This $49.9 million facility will become the home of Texas A&M School of Nursing programs and the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences research and outreach.

The decision to authorize construction was made in November 2023 by The Texas A&M System Board of Regents. This milestone signifies a commitment by the regents and Chancellor John Sharp to provide additional pathways for Rio Grande Valley students to earn a Texas A&M degree while staying within their local community.

Texas A&M President Mark A. Welsh III spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony, emphasizing the Texas A&M System’s dedication to the region and its health, and the impact that the new facility for nursing and health-related research will have on the local area.

Funding for the Texas A&M Health Science Center was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2021, and Texas A&M leadership allocated $20 million for the project, which will feature a 61,000-square-foot building. The facility will offer multiple amenities, including nursing classrooms, student study areas, a clinical simulation center, and space for a veterinary clinic and research laboratory.

The building will initially focus on offering the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, with plans to enroll approximately 50 students per semester. This expansion will help address the critical shortage of nurses in the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas.

In addition to its nursing offerings, the School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences will play a vital role within the facility. Faculty and students will conduct research and outreach focusing on transboundary infectious diseases, large animal biosecurity, zoonotic diseases, veterinary public health, and bilingual public outreach in South Texas.

The facility, expected to open in Spring 2026, aims to increase specialized patient consultation in the Rio Grande Valley through telemedicine and promote border health, thus contributing to Texas A&M’s land-grant mission.

The Higher Education Center in McAllen, which first opened in 2018, currently offers nine undergraduate degree programs and has been providing education programs through the Texas A&M Health Science Center since 2004.

In closing, the project is a testament to the dedication of Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M System to the Rio Grande Valley community and its health needs. It demonstrates a strong collaborative effort to expand academic offerings to the region, particularly in industries where there is a great demand.

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