DATE:  May 15, 2006       
CONTACT: Jorge A. Ramirez, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and
Communications, (361) 825-2427; or Melissa Goonan, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2337      

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to Receive $45 Million for New College of Nursing and Health Sciences Building

The Texas Legislature approved today legislation authorizing $45 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to construct a 165,000 square foot building to house the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, as well as kinesiology and wellness activities.

“We are extremely pleased that the Legislature, especially the South Texas delegation, has seen the need for expansion on our campus,” said University President Flavius C. Killebrew. “Our nursing program is expanding exponentially, and we need the space to be able to provide an education for students that we may otherwise have turned away.”

According to Killebrew, A&M-Corpus Christi’s top tuition revenue bond request to the Legislature was a College of Nursing and Health Sciences Building.

The portion of the facility that will be dedicated to nursing and health sciences will consist of offices, various-sized classrooms, computer labs, a simulated hospital ward, patient simulator laboratories, and other specialized research spaces.

The section of the facility dedicated to kinesiology and wellness includes space for Kinesiology and Athletic Training academic program activities and will include classrooms, computer labs, gymnasium space, large meeting spaces, cardiovascular training space and specialized labs for exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor evaluation and development.

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the university’s fastest growing college. In four years, it has grown from 400 majors to more than 850 and is projected to enroll 1,300 nursing majors by 2010. The program is currently located in several buildings on campus. The proposed facility will allow the university to help fill the critical need for nurses by accommodating increased enrollment.

The well-documented shortage of nurses is one factor that made building the Nursing and Health Sciences Building extremely urgent, said Killebrew. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates one million nursing job openings nationally will need to be filled between 2000 and 2010.

Another factor making the project of high importance to A&M-Corpus Christi is an need for upgrading the labs used by kinesiology and the athletic training programs in order to meet the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs’ criteria.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s 10-year strategic plan, Momentum 2015, calls for targeted expansion of academic programs to serve the needs of South Texas and for growth to more than 12,000 students. The university’s enrollment is up 23 percent since fall 2000 to 8,365 and is on track to reach the goal of 12,000 students by 2015. Enrollment successes have created a space deficit which now stands at 186,117 square feet. The newly passed Tuition Revenue Bonds will help address the university’s space deficit.