AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR) - The Amarillo City Council voted unanimously this evening to give a financial boost to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Earlier today, the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) approved $69 million in additional funding for the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM).
"The stars rarely align where you have a $90 million project funded and ready to go when you go to the legislature to ask for operational funding," said Four Price, State Rep. House District 87. "So I think our prospects are very good at this point. Very excited about this."
The City of Amarillo is projecting a $242 million economic output annually from TTUHSC with the addition of the SVM.
"Texas Tech is contractually obligated to continue fundraising efforts," Mayor Ginger Nelson said. "This investment by the AEDC ensures that the vet school will happen and while at the same time, it challenges industry and community partners to join in the success of making this vet school happen."
Presenters from Texas Tech and the AEDC said this new venture will help meet the needs of many people in our area while creating hundreds of jobs.
"A big reason why we have the ability to enter into this partnership with Texas Tech is because of people from the entire region who spend money in Amarillo," Brian Heinrich, AEDC Board Chairman, said. "And it's those very people and those very regions who are going to ultimately benefit from this project."
While the AEDC has earmarked the $69 million for the project during the span of 10 years, they said it is not likely they will actually contribute that amount.
"Our commitment is somewhere between $15 million and $69 million and we'll be dependent upon the community to contribute and businesses to contribute," said AEDC Senior V.P. of Financial Services.
The City of Amarillo said TTUHSC already employs 650 people full-time and will ultimately employ 95 more, and create 278 secondary jobs.
The City also projected the health sciences center will become Amarillo's eighth largest employer with the addition of the SVM.
Construction will begin next fall and classes are expected to begin in 2021.
The agreement between the AEDC and TTU ensures construction of the first U.S. public veterinary school in 40 years.
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