UT System and TSC finalize property agreements
AUSTIN, TX — The University of Texas System and Texas Southmost College have finalized property agreements in anticipation of the separation of the campus that TSC and UT Brownsville have shared for the past 20 years.
The property agreement between UT Brownsville and TSC physically defines both campuses and marks the first time in 20 years that each institution will have its own identity. Under the agreement, which follows a letter of intent signed in July 2013, the institutions exchanged, sold or leased both property and buildings.
UT acquired about 51.5 acres from the joint campus; a long-term ground lease of about 18 acres from the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission; and the University Boulevard Classroom Building, the University Boulevard Library and the Student Union Building. TSC students will continue to have full access to the library.
As part of the transaction, UT conveyed to TSC the former National Guard Armory Building as well as the Science, Engineering and Technology Building, which was constructed on land leased from TSC. TSC also received a payment of just more than $29 million.
Additionally, UT is leasing several TSC buildings to serve as interim teaching and related facilities, while TSC has leased space in UT Brownsville’s Life and Health Science Building. The agreement also calls for cooperative use of parking lots and other ancillary agreements.
It is an agreement in which both campuses benefit, said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. The two higher education institutions that now adjoin each other along Ringgold Street near the Texas-Mexico border will always share the history, challenges and higher education successes in the lower Rio Grande Valley.
The UT System is in the process of establishing UT Rio Grande Valley, which will combine the assets and resources of UT Brownsville and UT Pan American and establish South Texas’ first medical school. UTRGV is expected to open in the fall of 2015, and its medical school is expected to open in 2016.
TSC and UT Brownsville will continue to collaborate with each other and will offer joint degrees until both institutions receive independent accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.