Sharp applauds Legislature for capital projects funding support

Special to the E-T

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION — Generations of Texans are poised to benefit from action by the Texas Legislature to fund $3.35 billion in specific capital projects for Texas higher education institutions.

Capital projects at universities of The Texas A&M University System would total $727.4 million under SB52. That is 22 percent of the total authorization.

John Sharp

Separately, the Legislature appropriated $300 million in federal COVID relief funds to build a new state operations center in Austin for the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM,) one of eight state agencies overseen by The Texas A&M System.

The COVID-related appropriations bill, SB8, also invests $20 million toward supporting at-risk students at the state’s regional universities, including those associated with the A&M System.

Chancellor John Sharp thanked Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, Sen. Brandon Creighton, Sen. Jane Nelson and Rep. Greg Bonnen for their leadership and all of the members of the House and Senate who supported the legislation.

“We are gratified by the confidence the Legislature shows in The Texas A&M System to be good stewards of tax dollars,” Sharp said.  “We will continue to earn that trust as we serve the students and citizens of this great state.”

The Chancellor also thanked Abbott for including higher education in the third special session this fall. SB52 is the first legislation since 2015 to tackle a comprehensive list of capital projects for the state’s public colleges and universities.

The Texas A&M System educates more than 150,000 students, about half of them attend one of 10 regional universities throughout Texas — from A&M Texarkana to Texas A&M International in Laredo, and from West Texas A&M in Canyon to A&M Corpus Christi.

Funding for capital projects in SB52 include:

• Prairie View A&M: $45 million  

• Tarleton State-Stephenville: $65 million

• Tarleton State- Ft. Worth: $25 million

• A&M Central Texas: $45 million

• A&M Corpus Christi: $45 million 

• A&M Kingsville: $45 million

• A&M San Antonio: $45 million

• A&M International: $45 million

• West Texas A&M: $45 million

• A&M Commerce: $45 million

• A&M Texarkana: $45 million

• A&M HSC-McAllen: $30 million

• A&M Galveston: $34 million

• Texas A&M College-Station: $56 million

• Texas A&M System-RELLIS: $43 million

The legislation also includes $70 million for each of three public institutions who helped start the new biomedical research campus at the Texas Medical Center in Houston: The Texas A&M Health Science Center, the University of Texas Health Science Center and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.