Budget puts construction on new MSU building on hold

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Gunn College of Health Sciences building is a plan the chairmen of the board of regents for Midwestern State University said is years in the making.

"It is a huge footprint," said chairman Sam Sanchez.  "It's a cornerstone that will expand of the university going forward."

Construction on the new building is on hold until the board can vote again after contractors came in $7 million than the $41 million the school budgeted.

"We want to make sure that we had the best plan and want to be prepared to go forward to execute that," said Sanchez.

Some board members Friday morning asked about other options, but the money was given to MSU by the state to build a new building.  If that money is to be used, there are no other options.

Dr. James Johnston says a new building is needed.

"This building is really catches us up with the space, labs, and equipment that we need to deliver state of the art education," said Johnston.

To stay on budget, changes would need to be made to the blueprints, like fewer amenities or less square footage.

Until new blueprints are made, a vote will not be taken.

"It's a very big project and very important to the university," said Johnston.  "We need to take our time let the board get the information they need."

Sanchez said it's going to take time and more planning, but MSU needs the new health sciences center to keep students learning with today's tools.

"We really need those students to be successful and have a top-tier facility for students to learn and enter the workforce," said Sanchez.

Sanchez hopes the board will be able to see new blueprints and vote on the construction of the new center by the end of the year.

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