Plans include facilities for emergency response programs, health sciences, nursing and advanced manufacturing alongside a new law school building.
FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas A&M announced Wednesday plans to build a new research campus with programs focusing on innovation and business development in Fort Worth. The announcement is the result of joint efforts between the Texas A&M University System, the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and Fort Worth Now.
Plans include facilities for emergency response programs, health sciences, nursing and advanced manufacturing alongside a new law school building. Texas A&M officials said this campus would serve as a hub for collaboration between Fort Worth industries and top training assets in the A&M system.
The common goal? Growth in North Texas, said Fort Worth Mayor, Mattie Parker. Fort Worth city officials said results from the 2020 Census showed Fort Worth’s population is the fastest growing large city in the United States. The city has nearly one million residents; the county has more than one million, however, officials said nearly half of those living in the county don’t have a college degree.
“Fort Worth is the ideal landing place for Texas A&M to expand its brand and anchor a hub for innovation. Our city is ready to be the home of these opportunities for life-changing workforce development and world-changing research,” said Mayor Parker. “It is truly go time in Fort Worth, and the role that this project will have in the revitalization of the Fort Worth convention center district to spur business and job growth is a prime example of that.”
“The A&M System is making a Texas-sized commitment to Fort Worth,” Chancellor John Sharp said. “Welcome to Aggieland North.”
Where will the center be?
The Texas A&M University System already owns four blocks in the area of Jones St. and W Lancaster Avenue. The current law school was a former space for Southwestern Bell and school officials said the program is quickly outgrowing the facility. The new plans include renovating or building a new state-of-the-art law school at 1515 Commerce Street.
Credit: Texas A&M
While construction of the buildings still needs approval from the university’s Board of Regents, the plans to improve the law school has been in the capital improvement plan. The campus also still needs approval from the Fort Worth City Council and the Tarrant County Court of Commissioners.
The new research campus would be built next to the Fort Worth Convention Center and Water Gardens, two of the cities biggest attractions. They city said expanding the convention center and adding hotel rooms is already in the works. School officials said the campus would be a short walk from two public transportation stations and is near two interstate highways.
What will be included at the campus?
The Texas A&M System Research and Innovation Center would be constructed alongside a new Education Alliance Building, which would host conferences and house professional, technical and university courses offered by the Texas A&M School of Law, Tarleton State University, Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M Health Science Center and other alliance members.
The System agencies involved would be Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
The plans involve Tarleton State University moving its health programs to the new A&M campus so students are able to be near clinical assignments for nearby hospitals, clinics and labs.
How does Fort Worth industry tie in?
Texas A&M’s plans for a new urban campus has already drawn the attention of six of Fort Worth’s biggest employers. Alcon, AT&T, Bell, Elbit Systems of America, Lockheed Martin, and Philips are interested in the research facilities.
“The significance of having a Tier 1 Research University located in the urban core of Tarrant County cannot be overstated,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “Together, Tarrant County and Texas A&M will lift each other to new heights.”
Former Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, formed a strong relationship with Texas A&M while serving time in office and is proud to see those plans come to fruition. “This is a big deal, and I know we have a lot of proud local Aggies who are excited about this news. We are too.”
A press conference is scheduled Wednesday at the school of law at 9:30 a.m. We will bring you more information when it becomes available.
Written by Erin Wencl (KAGS)