SHSU Requests Money from Legislature for $60 million Biology Building

The Huntsville Item (Nov. 29) includes an article about SHSU, the impending Legislative session, and the long-rumoured new biology building:
In the 2015-2016 legislative appropriations request, SHSU surprises no one by including a note about constructing a new biology building using tuition revenue bonds.

There have already been two bills filed in the Texas Senate appropriating money to universities for tuition revenue bonds. The first, SB 21, was filed by Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and grants SHSU the entire $60 million request.

The second, SB 150, was introduced by Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, only gives SHSU $45 million of the total request. That bill makes cuts across the board to all universities at about 75 percent of the requested amounts.

Sam Houston State has been requesting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new capital projects from the Texas Legislature by means of tuition revenue bonds. However, that rarely worked. No new tuition revenue bonds have been approved since 2006.
As to the building itself, with a description taken from SHSU's request to the legislature:
“The 83,000 square-foot building will house biological sciences laboratories to serve core program needs for nursing, biology and other health science programs. The addition of critically needed biological sciences laboratories will greatly aid in meeting workforce needs in multiple disciplines such as nursing, and allied health and medical programs as well as meeting capacity requirements to satisfy growth in the university’s (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs.

“The need for biological science space, especially laboratories, has reached critical levels at the university due to growth in total enrollment as well as rapid increases in nursing and other health programs. The current physical space, equipment and infrastructure cannot support the demand for biological core courses, so students are being turned away.”

The biology building was formerly known as the biology, nursing and allied health building.


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