Ground breaking for building to support UTRGV medical education will be held Tuesday

Medical, academic and community leaders from The University of Texas System and across South Texas will gather at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UT Rio Grande Valley Medical Academic Building.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the Music Building on the UT Pan American campus at 1201 West University Drive in Edinburg.

The event will include remarks from Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, M.D.; Francisco Gonzáles-Scarano, M.D., dean of the UT School of Medicine in San Antonio; Guy Bailey, founding president of UT Rio Grande Valley; Francisco Fernandez, M.D., founding dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine; and Gene Powell, vice chairman of the UT System Board of Regents

Chancellor Cigarroa and leaders from Hidalgo County and the cities of Edinburg, McAllen, Mission and Pharr also will sign a Memorandum of Understanding that reflects support of the local governments for the medical school. Kenneth Shine, M.D., special advisor to the chancellor, and Judge Ramon Garcia of Hidalgo County will speak briefly on the significance of the agreement.

Occupying more than 88,000 square feet, the new building will be dedicated to teaching facilities that promote faculty and student interaction at the earliest stages of medical school. The building will include an auditorium, digital library, clinical skills center, preclinical laboratories and an anatomy teaching facility. Multiple small classrooms, seminar rooms and other features will offer opportunities for small group problem solving and inter-professional educational experiences.

Construction is scheduled to be complete in time to matriculate the first medical school class in the fall of 2016.

About The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 in a historic move that will combine the resources and assets of UT Brownsville and UT Pan American and, for the first time, make it possible for residents of the Rio Grande Valley to benefit from the Permanent University Fund. The institution will also be home to a School of Medicine and will transform Texas and the nation by becoming a leader in student success, teaching, research and healthcare. UTRGV will enroll its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine will open in 2016.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state

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