A Texas A&M University campus dubbed “Aggieland North” is in the works for downtown Fort Worth.
The Texas A&M System Research and Innovation Center would be built alongside a new Education Alliance building that would host conferences and house professional, technical, and university courses offered by the Texas A&M School of Law, Tarleton State University, Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and other alliance members, officials announced November 10.
“The shared vision is to create a hub for collaboration between key Fort Worth industries and top research, education, and workforce training assets of the Texas A&M System. The shared goal is to spur business and job growth in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities and throughout North Texas,” the system says in a news release.
The innovation center and education building would form the nucleus of the new campus, along with a new law school at 1515 Commerce St. The buildings would be built in phases, starting with the Research and Innovation Center.
Texas A&M expects to break ground next summer on the first building — the research center. The three-building project carries an estimated price tag of $250 million.
Officials with Texas A&M, the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the private Fort Worth Now group still are working out details.
“The A&M System is making a Texas-sized commitment to Fort Worth,” Chancellor John Sharp said. “Welcome to Aggieland North.”
The Texas A&M System owns four blocks in the area of the proposed project, and the City of Fort Worth has property nearby that potentially could be used. (It's in a southeast section of downtown known long ago as "Hell's Half Acre" for its bars and brothels.)
The A&M Research and Innovation Center might house programs in fields such as emergency response communication, medical technologies, advanced manufacturing, nutrition, biotech, medical laboratory science, and nursing. Six local employers — Alcon, AT&T, Bell, Elbit Systems of America, Lockheed Martin, and Philips — have expressed interested in collaboration on research conducted at the center. Also, an incubator for startups might relocate to the Texas A&M campus.
The new law school would take the place of a former Southwestern Bell facility that was converted for office use to house the current law school. The school also occupies leased space in a nearby building. Plans call for renovating or rebuilding the law school to accommodate growing enrollment.
The Texas A&M Board of Regents would need to approve construction associated with the project, while the Fort Worth City Council and the Tarrant County Court of Commissioners would be required to endorse key parts of the plan.
Texas A&M’s flagship campus is in College Station. Systemwide enrollment exceeds 153,000. Of those students, more than 30,000 are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.