by ANDY SEVILLA
As Texas State University continues setting enrollment records and is quickly exceeding projected population numbers, it’s undertaking a massive construction program totaling more than $600 million.
Texas State presently has at least 25 construction projects in various stages of development, according to Texas State’s Office of Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction Project Status Report. The project status report was compiled in February and will be updated in May, just before the Texas State Board of Regents meeting scheduled that month, said Nancy Nusbaum, Associate Vice President for Finance and Support Services.
|Texas State projects under construction now include (with budgeted cost):
Projects being designed include:
Projects in various stages of planning include:
“All of this construction is definitely a sign that we are growing and that we’re trying to improve the conditions of facilities for our students, faculty, and staff,” Nusbaum said, although she cautioned that future expansion beyond what is in the master plan may be difficult as the university’s financial resources are dwindling.
Projects under construction now total just under $300 million. Those are in addition to $150 million in projects completed in recent years including a new Student Recreation Center and two parking garages.
The most expensive of these is the Performing Arts Complex (PAC) totaling $83,243,646, according to the report. The center consists of four major components: a recital hall and theatre, a parking garage, a south chill plant, and street and ground improvements. The Recital Hall will accommodate 300 seats and the Theatre will have 400 seats. The parking garage, which will be erected on University Drive, will have a capacity for 455 cars.
Texas State’s Master Plan calls for projects totaling $739,665,178, and are to be paid for through a variety of funding mechanisms including legislative appropriations, tuition revenue bonds and donations.
Nusbaum said the Undergraduate Academic Center and the Nursing Building in Round Rock are being built with State Tuition Revenue Bonds, but, she said, Texas State has not received any more them for four years now and is uncertain if they’ll receive any in the future.
Texas State’s fall 2011 enrollment was 34,113, and Mark Heintze, the university’s associate vice president for enrollment management said he expects total enrollment to increase by two to three percent. Enrollment estimates for the fall 2012 carry numbers as high as 35,137, which puts Texas State close to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s institutional target of 35,516, which it wanted by the fall 2015.
Texas colleges and universities have for more than decade rushed to increase their enrollment capacity under the coordinating board’s Closing the Gap initiative. The program, and its enrollment targets, were drafted to address a thriving, younger population and reverse relatively low enrollment and graduation rates, especially among blacks and Latinos.
Texas State gained official recognition as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the US Department of Education after the university surpassed the 25 percent Hispanic undergraduate enrollment level in September 2010. In order to attain an HSI designation, which opens the door for more federal money, an institution must have an enrollment of undergraduate full-time students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic.
In January Texas State was classified as an Emerging Research University by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, upgrading it from its former classification of a Doctoral University. The Coordinating Board defines Emerging Research Universities as those that offer at least 10 doctoral programs and/or enroll at least 150 doctoral students, award at least 20 doctoral degrees per year, offer a wide range of baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, and have annual research expenditures of at least $14 million.
According to the university, Texas State presently enrolls more than 400 doctoral students and spent more than $33 million in total research expenditures for fiscal year 2011.Email | Print