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Fort Worth government and business leaders and Texas A&M University System officials are working together on plans to build a new downtown research campus to spur innovation and business development. The goal is to create a hub for collaboration between key Fort Worth industries and top research, education and workforce training assets of the Texas A&M System. 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 innovation center and new education building would form the nucleus of a new urban campus along with a new, state-of-the art law school. The buildings would be constructed in phases beginning with the research and innovation center.
The system owns four blocks in the area, and the city of Fort Worth has nearby property that could become available. The area is next to two major attractions, the convention center and Water Gardens. It is a short walk from two public transportation stations and close to two interstate highways, providing easy access to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and surrounding region. The city is planning a convention center expansion, more hotel rooms and other nearby improvements.
The A&M Research and Innovation Center will house a range of initiatives involving the system’s network of state agencies. Discussions so far include programs in emergency response communication, medical technologies, advanced manufacturing, nutrition, biotechnology, medical laboratory science and nursing.
The memorandum is a non-binding statement of the parties’ intentions. It allows discussions and planning to become more detailed in the coming months. Construction of the buildings would require a series of approvals from the board of regents, although the law building has been in the board’s capital improvement plan for several years.
Dan Hounsell is senior editor for the facilities market. He has more than 25 years of experience covering engineering, maintenance and grounds management issues in institutional and commercial facilities.