WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials with Midwestern State University Tuesday announced they’ve received approval from the Texas Senate to begin renovation, expansion, and infrastructure projects totaling $44.9 million.
The funds come following Texas Legislature’s approval Senate Bill 52, which authorized the issuance of $3.3 billion worth of revenue bonds to fund capital projects at Texas higher education institutions.
James Johnson, Interim President at MSU Texas, expressed his gratitude toward the local state senators that made the approval of the funds possible.
“We appreciate the efforts of our local legislators, Sen. Drew Springer and Rep. James Frank, to ensure MSU Texas received this funding,” Johnson said. “We also appreciate the efforts of Chancellor Tedd Mitchell to have all component institutions in the Texas Tech University System included.”
The newly approved funding provides for the renovation and expansion of the Bolin Science Hall, which was built in the 1960’s but hasn’t seen any updates since 1997.
“These funds pave the way for the much-anticipated upgrades to Bolin Science Hall and provide support for student success,” Johnson said. “This project will transform our existing facility into a contemporary teaching, learning, and research facility for our current and future students.”
Funding will be used to update lecture halls, laboratories for teaching and research, conference rooms and offices as well as technology enhancements and life-safety improvements.
Marcy Brown Marsden, dean of the McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering, said over the past 20 years, the spaces inside Bolin have become some of the most utilized on campus.
“This promise of a Bolin Hall transformation will allow us the needed spaces and resources to recruit students to MSU Texas and significantly enhance our ability to offer a modern facility for students to learn, conduct research, and collaborate,” Marsden said.
This funding along with the $5 million pledge from the McCoy Foundation announced in 2018 secures the funds needed to complete the Bolin project.
“What a fitting tribute this news is to Jim and Vicki McCoy,” Johnson said. “Jim was an avid supporter of education, especially in our science and engineering programs. We were saddened by his recent passing, but his legacy of philanthropic investment will continue both now and for years to come.”
Additionally, MSU Texas cited infrastructure upgrades across campus that are required to support additional space and functions added to the campus over the past decade.
The University last received revenue bond authorization of $58.4 million in 2015 resulting in the construction of Centennial Hall, a state-of-the-art health sciences facility, renovation to Moffett Library and Bridwell Hall, and ADA/fire safety upgrades. This was an important first step in the University’s master plan for academic and revitalization projects.