AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Plans for the Texas Tech University Veterinarian School in Amarillo have been underway since 2015, and today, various City of Amarillo entities are working to bring those plans closer to fruition.
The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation announced today that they will pledge up to $69 million to ensure the construction and operation of the veterinarian school. Including private funding and previous donations, these funds will act as a financial guarantee for the $90 million project.
Amarillo City Council approved up to $69 million in funding to ensure the construction and operation of the veterinarian school.
Including private funding and previous donations, these funds will act as a financial guarantee for the $90 million project.
The school will be located on the same campus as the pharmacy and medical schools.
"We're the only place in the nation now that will have all three of those on a single campus," said Jason Herrick, chairman of the Steering Committee of Amarillo Vet School. "To me, that means we're going to be on the forefront of research and development opportunities. It's really exciting about the types of businesses and the types of people we can get to our community."
"Both of those make a veterinary school perfect for the types of industry that is here," said Robert Duncan, Chancellor for Texas Tech University System. "This is the epicenter of the beef industry as well as now all the dairy industry is migrating to this region of the country."
By establishing these higher education programs, Texas Tech's vet program, as well as West Texas A&M, hope to meet the need in the area.
"I have a high level of confidence that one of our best partners will be West Texas A&M University," said Herrick. "Both for our students and for the opportunities to develop with faculty and for research opportunities that will come up between the two universities."
Before students begin Tech's four-year program beginning in fall of 2021, fundraising efforts are expected to continue as well as action on the legislative level.
"The stars are aligning in a good way for us to have a strong argument with $90 million in funding for construction and say here's the need and here's why we should appropriate some money for operational funding," said Rep. Four Price, State Representative for District 87. "I'm looking forward to that opportunity"
The AEDC's payments will run through 2029 in over 10 installments.
This is the second largest project that the AEDC has been involved in.
So far an estimated $56 million is left, but more than half of that is expected to roll in from private donations.
The new school will be the 31st veterinary school in the country.
Revenue for the new measure will come in the form of taxes already in place, like sales tax.
It is said no additional taxes will be added in order to fund the projects.
Officials says the school is expected to bring an economic impact of more than $70 million annually, thus paying itself off in a matter of years.