Board of regents passes budget on new health sciences center

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Construction on the new Gunn College of Health Sciences building will move forward after the board of regents at Midwestern State University vote "Yes" on an adjusted budget.

The votes come after Novembers meeting when the board received a bid $7 million higher than their original budget.

The board held off on voting until the new drawings came in.

Those behind the project called it a victory.

"It is great," said Kyle Owen Associate Vice President of Facility Services at MSU.  "All of our hard work went into it.  I am just thankful that everyone was in favor."

Dr. James Johnston spent many years in the Health Sciences Department and created the original design for the new building.

He said the new center is important so that students can learn with today's technology.

"A lot of these health care providers depend on this technology," said Johnston.  "They have to learn on state of the art in clinical practice we have to simulate that work environment.  We have to do the same real-world experiences they do."

The vote comes after renditions were made to fit the schools budget.

Most of the adjustment is to the overall look of the building.

With all of the changes, the university has cut down the cost by $3 million.

MSU will still have to come up with money for equipment.

"I have some ideas and certainly support in the community and the region we will be fine with the equipment part of it," said Johnston.

Johnston said this project is just the start of a bright future.

"This is the first piece in a series of things that we will advance in academic affairs and the campus," said Johnston.  We needed this building and it's a health sciences focus.  It's really an academic building for the campus with the spaces we've designed to help us deliver the quality construction that we deliver."

The budget went from $40 million to $42 million.

The university says they will come up with the extra money by using dollars from other projects.

The reason why is because this project is the most important to the university right now.

Construction on the new health sciences center will start Monday.

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