(EAGLE PASS) – The Texas State University System and Sul Ross State University today announced a $33.1 million investment in new and improved educational facilities in the Middle Rio Grande Region, including an estimated $30 million to construct a new multi-purpose education building in Eagle Pass as the first step toward a comprehensive, four-year university. The remaining $3 million would support facility enhancements in Del Rio and Uvalde.
“We are excited to begin the process of creating a four-year university in the Middle Rio Grande Region,” said TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall. “I sincerely thank Representative Morales and his colleagues in the Legislature for approving the capital project funding that facilitates this historic investment.” The $33.1 million in capital construction assistance was approved by the Texas Legislature during the 87th Session.
Representative Eddie Morales joined TSUS and SRSU leadership during a news conference at the International Center for Trade in Eagle Pass. Morales reinforced the need for additional student enrollment, community support, authorizing legislation and other resources to create a comprehensive university over the next decade.
"I am grateful and excited for the historic investment the Texas State University System and Sul Ross State University are making in the Middle Rio Grande Region, including Eagle Pass, Del Rio and Uvalde,” said Morales. “The expansion of higher education opportunities in our region will likewise provide for further economic development and growth. For too long we have seen great young minds from our area leave to attain bachelor’s or advanced degrees, never to return.”
“Thanks to the efforts of Chancellor McCall, President Hernandez and their staffs, our young children and teenagers stand at the precipice of reaping substantial benefits from this commitment and this investment. Rest assured that all of this could not have been possible without the hard work of our past and current public officials and leaders who dreamt, championed, and persistently lobbied for a four-year university in our community and never took no for an answer,” said Morales.
“This is a tremendous opportunity and we at Sul Ross State University are committed to providing expanded access to higher education in this region,” said Sul Ross State University Interim President Carlos Hernandez. “We look forward to working with community leaders as we build and launch the foundation for a comprehensive university with its own name, identity and location leadership.”
Earlier this year, TSUS engaged Hanover Research, a leading market research firm, to assess current and future education and workforce needs in the Middle Rio Grande Region. Hanover conducted a market and needs assessment of the region and sought input from Sul Ross faculty, staff and students as well as community members, local leaders and employers in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Uvalde and surrounding communities.
Hanover Research found demand in the region for possible new degree programs in finance, engineering, information science, construction technology, computer information systems, and health-related fields.