HOUSTON, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas A&M University System is making a half-billion-dollar investment in Houston's Texas Medical Center to house their Engineering Medicine program.
The announcement was made Thursday in Houston.
Their project includes renovating an 18-story building and constructing two additional towers to house students and medical offices. The Engineering Medicine program, or EnMed, allows students to complete the requirements for master’s degrees in engineering and doctorates of medicine, while also being required to invent new devices or processes before they graduate.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp says EnMed will bring Aggie ingenuity to the medical center.
Read the full press release below:
The Texas A&M University System is building a half-billion dollar complex in the Texas Medical Center area to house its groundbreaking Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program and provide desperately needed housing for medical and nursing students in Houston.
The development project is the largest in the Texas Medical Center area and possibly the grandest in Houston recently. The Texas A&M System’s massive expansion includes three major projects, two of which will be constructed through public-private partnerships, commonly called P3s.
“The Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System recognized an opportunity in Houston to help Texans and contribute more to the global medical community,” said Elaine Mendoza, Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System. “We are eager and fortunate to further enhance the world’s greatest medical center through this endeavor.”
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said the System is expanding in Houston near the Texas Medical Center to meet the medical needs of Texans. He added that the expansion also provides needed space and facilities for students and professionals who work near one of the world’s most important epicenters for medicine and research in the world.
“Texas A&M’s rise in prominence – especially within the health care arena – is reflected with the aggressive expansion of properties near the Texas Medical Center,” Chancellor Sharp said. “The Houston medical scene is about to see the benefits of Aggie ingenuity and our dedication to service.”
The cost of the complex is an estimated $546 million, including $145 million for the purchase and renovation of an 18-story building, plus $401 million in private sector money to build two new towers.
The new Texas A&M System projects include:
• EnMed. At 1020 Holcombe Blvd., the Texas A&M System is renovating an 18-story building for students in the innovative EnMed program. The unique two-degree program provides students the chance to earn a master’s degree in engineering from Texas A&M University and a medical doctor’s degree from the university’s Health Science Center. The renovation is expected to be completed by this summer.
• Student Housing. A P3 project, the new, 19-story building will have 572 units and 704 beds. The facility – at 365,000 square-feet – also will include a 1.2 million-square-foot parking garage with 3,444 spaces. Texas A&M medical students and Prairie View A&M nursing students will be given priority for housing, but students from other institutions could fill open slots, if available. The project is scheduled to be finished in June 2022.
• Integrated Medical Plaza. Another P3, the new medical office building will take up 587,000 square feet and will be 30 stories tall. It will include a 13-story parking garage.
Further, it will incorporate 72,000 square feet of retail space and 8,700 square feet of lush green space. Completion is expected in June 2023.
EnMed brings a totally new concept to the Texas Medical Center area in which students work on new ways to solve complicated health problems. Students will complete the requirements for master’s degrees in engineering and doctorates of medicine, while also being required to invent new devices or processes before they graduate.
Dr. M Katherine Banks, the vice-chancellor of engineering and national laboratories at the Texas A&M System, said the new facilities and lab space will allow EnMed students to create the newest medical devices that will help people live longer and lead healthier and more comfortable lives.
“I expect to see transformative ideas generated by Texas A&M’s broadened presence in Houston,” said Dr. Banks, who is also the dean for Texas A&M University College of Engineering.
Adjacent to the EnMed building, the integrated medical plaza and the student housing projects will fill a desperate need for facilities in the area, said Greg Hartman, a vice-chancellor at Texas A&M University System and interim senior vice president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
“We saw a need for student housing and medical offices in Houston. Plus, our EnMed students needed the facilities to create the latest medical devices,” Vice-Chancellor Hartman said. “So, we began the process of expanding the Texas A&M footprint in Houston and I believe the work done by Aggies in Houston will be life-changing for a lot of people.”
The developer for the P3 projects is Medistar Corporation, whose CEO is Monzer Hourani. American Triple I Partners, founded by Texas A&M alum Henry Cisneros, is part of the financing team.