The University of Texas Board of Regents has approved a new plan to fund the new Engineering Education and Research Center at UT Austin. The change to the funding plan was necessary after lawmakers failed to approve bonds for capitol projects in the most recent legislative session.
UT Austin had requested $95 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds to use toward the new facility. Now, UT can borrow up to $150 million from the UT System's Revenue Financing System to make up that difference. The rest of the money will come from $5 million in current funds and $50 million in gifts.
The university has to raise $105 million in gifts and donations, as originally required, but the new plan gives the university more flexibility to use it for construction or future goals in the Cockrell School of Engineering.
“We're confident we can do that. But what this allows us to do is get going. It’s a very needed building. It’s needed for both the teaching and the research," said Bill Powers, President of UT Austin, at Thursday's meeting.
The total cost of the new building is $310 million. When completed, it will also allow UT to accept 1,000 additional undergraduate engineering students.