UTA President James Spaniolo will present UTA's request for $64.3 million to go toward Life Science Building renovations and an animal research facility to the Texas Senate Finance Committee on Monday in Austin.

The committee heard funding requests from higher education institutions Friday and will hear requests from the Texas A&M University System and UT System on Monday.

The UT System Board of Regents approved UTA's request Wednesday, along with 15 other construction projects from across the UT System. The UT System has nine universities and six health institutions. The board's approval is necessary for the request to go to the Legislature.

The Life Science Building has not had substantial renovations since it opened in 1970, university spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said. 

“To some of us, that may not seem like long ago, but the world of science has changed dramatically in the past 42 years,” Spaniolo told the board on Wednesday.

The project, totaling $91.3 million, is projected to complete in the summer of 2017 if the university receives the funding during this Legislative session, Spaniolo said.

Renovations would include complete replacements of the labs, redesign of classrooms, roof replacements, electrical system updates, fire sprinkler system updates, asbestos removal and classroom teaching technology updates, according to the university’s legislative appropriations requests.

The animal research facility would be 15,000 square feet.

In the 2011 legislative session, the university requested a tuition revenue bond of $74.8 million for Life Science Building renovations. During the last legislative session, when the state faced significant budget cuts, the Legislature did not approve any tuition revenue bonds for any university. 

The hearing starts at 10 a.m. It will broadcast on the Texas Legislature website.



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