From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2006
CONTACT: Melissa del Bosque (512) 463-0120, cell 947-4046

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Announces $84.7 Million in new Construction Money for Universities in Nueces, Hidalgo Counties

AUSTIN -- State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, announced Sunday that $84.7 million had been approved for new university facilities in Hidalgo and Nueces counties.

The $84.7 million in tuition revenue bond money was approved by the Texas Senate in HB 153 late Sunday. The House is expected to concur on the bill ensuring the successful passage of the bill.

The Senate approved $45 million for a nursing, health sciences and kinesiology facility at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi campus.

"We are experiencing a crisis in the number of nurse graduates we have in Texas and this facility will be key in helping train more nurses to meet that shortage," Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said. "This facility will also include an athletic training program, which is one of the fastest growing programs in our state."

The Senate also approved $39,796,000 for a fine arts academic and performance complex at the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg.

The facility will include classrooms, practice rooms and event space with seating for 4,000 to 7,500 people.

"Many of UTPA's facilities were built in 1969 when UTPA's enrollment was 4,612, today we have an enrollment of 17,000 students," Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said. "This is going to be a top-of-the-line fine arts facility that will accommodate our growing population of students."

Dr. Bambi Cardenas, president of UTPA, said passage of the TRB bill was vital for the university's future growth.

"These TRBs are critical to UTPA's continuing growth and to the state's goal of closing the gaps. I am most grateful to Senator Hinojosa and the entire delegation for their strong advocacy for the needs of UTPA and our students."

Senator Hinojosa said the passage of the bill was due to the hard work of the entire valley delegation.

"We all worked very hard on this bill both in the House and the Senate and we could never have accomplished this without everyone's participation and commitment to this bill passing," said Senator Hinojosa.

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