Tarleton breaks ground on $7 million Research and Economic Development Building.
TSU Media Relations
Special to Beneath the Surface News
Tarleton State University broke ground Wednesday for a Research and Economic Development Building that will create an innovation ecosystem to accelerate sponsored research and strengthen regional partnerships.
Tarleton will share the $7 million facility, at U.S. Highway 281 and East Lingleville Road, with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service.
“This is a momentous groundbreaking for Tarleton State, Texas AgriLife and the entire Texas A&M System,” said university President James Hurley. “Today marks the beginning of the next chapter in our 124-year commitment to academic distinction and community connections that lift the living standard, empower the workforce and drive economic prosperity.”
A&M System regents approved funding in May, with move-in set for fall 2024.
“This building will help bring new collaboration and more research dollars to Stephenville, changing the whole region for the better,” A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said. “Today’s groundbreaking shows the strength of the A&M System working together and serving regional needs.”
The historic event comes on the heels of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration that will enable Tarleton State to operate as an EDA University Center — the only one in North Central Texas and one of just 73 nationwide.
In addition to $650,000 in EDA funding, regional partners are matching the grant in-kind for a total $1.3 million over five years.
The EDA University Center will join Tarleton’s new Institute for Rural Economic Development and Research in the new 10,000-square-foot, state-of-
the-art Research and Economic Development Building, and the university’s Small Business Development Center will relocate there.
Among other topics, researchers are championing plant-based materials to improve water safety; innovative smart climate practices; enhanced rural communications and healthcare; healthier pollinators for increased food production; and greater transportation efficiency.
Dr. Rupa Iyer, vice president for Tarleton State’s Division of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, called the Research and Economic Development Building an investment in the university’s faculty and faculty-mentored research.
“No university team is doing more to enhance quality of life and deliver a life-changing education,” she said. “We’re going beyond what’s known to shape what’s possible. AgriLife will be a worthy partner in this endeavor.”