Limited funds for new buildings

A slate of new buildings at Sam Houston State University has been approved for construction by the Texas State University System.

Among the planned buildings including a new softball complex and an expansion to the Woodlands Center, some projects are on hold due to a lack funding.

According to the TSUS Board of Regents board book, of the 12 projects expected for construction, six projects are struggling to find sources of funding. Vice President of Finance and Operations Carlos Hernandez, Ph.D. said different avenues are sought out including tuition revenue bonds (TRB), authority from the state and private donations.

Hernandez said the challenge with private donations is ensuring the interests of the both the university and the donors.

“While we remain cautiously optimistic that the state legislature will consider and approve TRB funding for academic infrastructure needs for public higher education institutions across the state, we understand that there are many competing priorities,” Hernandez said.

Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-21, filed Senate Bill 21 requesting state funding for a $60 million biology laboratory building for SHSU. TRB authorization to fund the biology laboratory will be considered during the state’s legislation session beginning in January. Hernandez said SHSU has taken steps to ensure a quick “transition to construction” for the TRB supported projects, contingent upon state approval.

Hernandez said the biology building is SHSU highest priority when finding funding.

“The University is in desperate need of additional laboratory space to support basic science instructional activities and as such, the TRB project is our highest priority,” Hernandez said.

However, Hernandez said he’s hopeful to find funding for the remaining projects within the next three to five years.

“We will continue to collaborate with SGA on the LSC expansion project as this has been identified as a high priority by our student constituents,” Hernandez said.

Currently SHSU is awaiting funding for a biology laboratory building, research institutes, Gibbs Ranch equine arena and a plant science field lab, recreational complex along I-45 and expansions to the Lowman Student Center.

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