Tarleton breaks ground on IPE Building in Fort Worth
FORT WORTH — Tarleton State University broke ground Wednesday for a second building on its 80-acre campus in southwest Fort Worth along Chisholm Trail Parkway.
At more than 100,000 square feet of classroom and specialized lab space, the $66 million Interprofessional Education Building will address the region’s two most pressing needs — increased access to quality healthcare and education.
The Texas A&M University System approved design plans in February, with move-in set for 2024. Construction dollars come from the Permanent University Fund and are part of a systemwide capital plan approved in 2019 by the Board of Regents.
“Consider this a watershed moment for Tarleton, Tarrant County and the entire A&M System,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “This state-of-the-art facility will absolutely recruit researchers who will tackle the medical and educational challenges of our time. This is how we make a difference.”
More room in Fort Worth means expanded offerings in occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, psychology, nursing, kinesiology, medical laboratory sciences and teacher education.
“The demand for healthcare practitioners and educators is surging, as is the interest in these professions among our students,” noted Tarleton President James Hurley. “Add in the investment of the A&M System and the Legislature, and we must step up to make our world a better place.”
The 87th Legislature appropriated $2 million in its regular session for Tarleton to develop occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant programs, and $90 million for Capital Construction Assistance Projects (passed in October) will help expand the Fort Worth campus and create a health sciences college, with its own building, in Stephenville.
“We truly appreciate our legislators and the city of Fort Worth,” Sharp said. “Together, we’re spurring innovation and improving quality of life.”
Sen. Beverly Powell (District 10): “Today marks a big win for access to quality and affordable education and healthcare. The impact of this investment is far reaching and life changing.”
With an enrollment topping 2,280, Tarleton offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in Fort Worth to a diverse student population of working adults, community college graduates and returning students. If growth continues as expected, the campus could enroll 6,000 students by 2030.
Projections are based on long-standing partnerships with Tarrant County, Weatherford, Hill, Dallas, and Navarro colleges to create major-related pathways for seamless degree completion, along with anticipated population growth and the number of students pursuing a degree for career development.
Rep. Craig Goldman (District 97) said higher education opportunities are paramount when businesses consider a move to Tarrant County. “Having Tarleton in Fort Worth increases options and promotes North Texas as a vibrant community where businesses and their employees can thrive.”
Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker called education key to the city’s economic and cultural advancement.
“As we continue to attract new residents and businesses to Fort Worth, greater educational opportunities are vital,” she said. “Our partnership with Tarleton State University is one answer to meeting workforce needs and continuing to grow a diverse, global community.”
In addition to classroom, laboratory and collaboration spaces, the four-story IPE Building will house high-fidelity simulation and clinical skills suites, generating exceptional education and hands-on training opportunities.
“Tarleton is a forward-thinking institution, fiercely pursuing its mission to provide accessible, affordable higher education,” said Bill Mahomes, Vice Chairman of the A&M System Board of Regents. “Today’s groundbreaking brings us one step closer to building out this 80-acre campus for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders.”
For more information on Tarleton-Fort Worth, including a copy of the campus master plan, go to www.tarleton.edu/fortworth/index.html.