UT-Dallas moving forward with plans for new $85 million science building
Dallas Morning News – by Jeffrey Weiss
Tuesday March 13, 2012
Next month, officials at the University of Texas at Dallas will start formal plans for a new $85 million science building. The structure was approved last month by the University of Texas Board of Regents.
The building will be used to expand the university’s existing bioscience program, with an emphasis on research about the brain, UTD provost Hobson Wildenthal said Tuesday. Getting the new building has been at the top of the school’s priorities for several years, he said.
“The fields of neuroscience and biology and bioengineering are among the fields that have the greatest capability of generating external funding,” Wildenthal said. “And external funding is the key to national distinction and university rankings and economic development.”
The project will also expand an ongoing partnership in neuroscience studies between UTD and researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The new building will be paired with the university’s Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory, which was finished in 2006. It’s full, Wildenthal said.
“We couldn’t continue to hire experimental faculty without a new building,” he said.
According to the proposal given to the regents, the structure will make room for 48 new faculty members and 1,720 more students.
The regents approved spending $72.25 million from the state’s Permanent University Fund Bond. The rest will be paid for by the university. That includes $4 million in money saved from earlier projects, plus $8.75 million that will be borrowed, Wildenthal said.
Now that the regents have approved the project, the university can start planning exactly what should go inside, he said. That process should be done by the end of the summer.
The building should be ready for use by the fall of 2016.