The design plans for UTA’s School of Social Work and Smart Hospital Building and appropriation of funds and expenditure were approved by the UT System Board of Regents on Thursday.
The $76 million project will be located in proximity to the Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Building, Life Science Building and Pickard Hall to form a “health sciences quad.”
In November 2019 the board approved $60 million for the project after the initial request of $72.2 million was denied. At the time the total cost was projected to be $76 million.
Now, with the expenditure authorization of $76 million, $60 million will come from the Permanent University Fund Bond proceeds, $11 million from Revenue Financing System Bond proceeds, $314,000 from gifts and $4,686,000 from unexpected plant funds, according to the meeting agenda.
The $11 million in Revenue Financing System debt will be repaid from designated tuition with an annual debt service expected to be $631,000. UTA’s scorecard rating of 2.7 at fiscal year-end 2019 is below the maximum threshold of 6.0 and demonstrates that the institution has the financial capacity to satisfy its direct obligations related to parity debt, according to the agenda.
Construction is expected to start early spring.
The current School of Social Work Building faces structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and accessibility issues. In 2018, former university President Vistasp Karbhari asked the 86th Texas Legislature to make funding for a new building a state priority, saying the building was likely to collapse.
Housing the School of Social Work and new Smart Hospital under one roof is expected to make interprofessional training between the disciplines more convenient.