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Bryan Trying to Lure A&M Health Science Center Away from College Station

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A&M center talks tabled by regents

http://www.theeagle.com/stories/092206/am_20060922004.php

By HOLLY HUFFMAN

Eagle Staff Writer

Texas A&M University System regents postponed public talks about the future site of the Health Science Center after hearing a presentation from Bryan city leaders urging the board to move the facility north.

The regents had planned to discuss naming a 150-acre site near the George Bush Presidential Library as the new home for the system's growing Health Science Center. The site was recommended by Health Science Center President Nancy Dickey.

But the item was pulled from the agenda late Thursday, just hours after regents heard a proposal from Bryan Business Council Executive Director Dennis Goehring, who asked the group to consider building the facility in Bryan.

Regent Erle Nye described the city's proposal - which includes an undisclosed Bryan site that the city does not yet own - as "very interesting." But he said it was not what prompted the panel to delay the discussion.

Nye said the item was withdrawn from the agenda because board members had yet to come to a consensus on one site. He said that the meeting was running late, and the agenda had been worded incorrectly, which means regents could have discussed the item but would have been prohibited from taking action on it.

"The city [of Bryan] is very impressive in their approach," Nye said, noting that regents would select a site based on "what is ultimately best for the students, for the university and for the community."

The Health Science Center is planning to double its enrollment, which is why the facility is in need of a new home. Nye, chairman of the regents' buildings and physical plant committee, said the system had been searching for a new location for about nine months and had looked at about six sites during that time.

"Some made news, some didn't," Nye said of the locations.

In May, the regents heard a presentation on three potential sites - the land Dickey is recommending off George Bush Drive, 53 acres off Earl Rudder Freeway South and the 130-acre Bryan Municipal Golf Course.

The city of Bryan offered its golf course as a potential site during its first attempt to lure the A&M facility to Bryan. At the time, Dickey expressed concerns about the site, saying it was in an "economically depressed neighborhood."

Nye said Thursday "at least two or more" sites were under consideration by the Board of Regents. He declined to name them but acknowledged that one location was in Bryan.

Dickey could not be reached late Thursday for comment, but Nye said she appeared interested in the Bryan site.

Goehring said he thought the meeting had gone well for the city and was not surprised to learn regents postponed discussion of the George Bush Drive location.

"For the first time, they had the opportunity to see what we could really offer to the system in terms of acreage and facilities," Goehring said, declining to give further detail on the proposal. "We wanted to present a plan that really complemented what the Health Science Center wanted to do. We have all the same objectives; the only difference is a few feet.

"It is a very good day for the city of Bryan," he said.

Nye said he hoped the regents would make a final decision by the end of the year and stressed the importance of a quality decision over a quick decision. He likened the process to purchasing a house. Buyers looking at several lots compare various aspects, such as the quality of surrounding schools, the property tax rate and neighborhood hazards before making a decision, he said.

The Board of Regents is going through a similar, albeit much more complicated, process as it tries to determine which location is the best fit for the facility. The outcome will affect the Health Science Center for years to come, he said.

"We simply haven't gotten to the point where we're ready to make a decision yet," Nye said. "It's important we get it right."

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Your thread title is a bit adversarial. The Texas A&M Health Science Center, which is no longer under the umbrella of Texas A&M University(C.S.), wishes to move off the A&M main campus and create a distinct campus of its own. What better way to do this than to move to a great Bryan location?

Choosing a piece of land adjacent to the campus of Texas A&M will not help them to create the separate identity they are looking for.

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Your thread title is a bit adversarial. The Texas A&M Health Science Center, which is no longer under the umbrella of Texas A&M University(C.S.), wishes to move off the A&M main campus and create a distinct campus of its own. What better way to do this than to move to a great Bryan location?

Choosing a piece of land adjacent to the campus of Texas A&M will not help them to create the separate identity they are looking for.

I think you're trying to read too much into how I titled the thread...lol...I'm not trying to get fights started, just explain what is happening...and, indeed, Bryan is trying to lure the HSC away from a site in College Station. Whether that's a bad thing or not, I'll leave that for the people who read the story to decide.

^_^

-Justin

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Whether that's a bad thing or not, I'll leave that for the people who read the story to decide.
I like that after Nancy Dickey turned down the first proposed site offer by Bryan, that the city put another presentation together that was heard by the system regents. Now, who know's what the main reason why the regents postponed public talks after hearing Bryan proposal, but it had to be a very intriguing location that the regents decided to think about (if they postponed because of Bryan proposal). Looking around the city I wonder what was the Bryan location they proposed that caused possible some interest from the regents, maybe somewhere that is far away from a "economically depressed neighborhood'' (of course) my guess is maybe out in the Copperfield area, good location nice school and neighborhood and it's a growing and thriving community.

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It is not free, but it is a municipal course so it is much cheaper than courses than require memberships or only allow non members to golf at a premium rate.

I believe that the Muni course is off the table, and I wish it wasn't. I think that location would have been great for all involved. The new site is probably along Hwy. 47.

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It is not free, but it is a municipal course so it is much cheaper than courses than require memberships or only allow non members to golf at a premium rate.

I believe that the Muni course is off the table, and I wish it wasn't. I think that location would have been great for all involved. The new site is probably along Hwy. 47.

That would be my guess as well...or possibly on West Villa Maria between 2818 and 47. What better way to connect Traditions to A&M than have the A&M Health Science Center within a block or two? The city is working to annex an additional 20 acres basically across the street, adjacent to Oak Meadow subdivision as we speak. Of course, that doesn't have road frontage and I think A&M is looking for a fairly large parcel of land. I wonder if they're considering something near the new county exhibition hall? That could prove useful to the Health Science Center...to have a convention center very close. I know the county scaled back their plans quite a bit to stay within budget but I'd guess an investment by A&M in that part of town could spur them to go ahead and build the structures they dropped from the plan. Sonsider this as a far out idea too: Traditions was originally to include a hotel & convention center of its own. Can you imagine what a kickstart this center would be to those plans, if they located it within the overall Traditions development?

060404_TRADITIONS_MRA_FINAL_MASTERPLAN_11x17.jpg

There's tons of room to the south of the golf course & club. Who knows?

As a Bryanite and third generation Aggie I'd love for the Health Science Center to locate here but I have to admit its a long shot.

Edited by Bryan Guy

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Bryan Guy was right on. I looked up the land using Bryan GIS system and it is to the bottom of the above Traditions plan. Even if the HSC does not locate on the land, it seems like a pretty good purchase, if only to expand the size of Traditions.

Here's hoping Bryan can lure the HSC away from College Station. :D

Bryan-College Station Eagle article:

Bryan signs contract for 285-acre site

By APRIL AVISON

Eagle Staff Writer

Bryan made a payment Wednesday on a $6.6 million tract of land at the corner of University Drive and Texas 47 - a site the city wants to give to the Texas A&M System for construction of a Health Science Center campus.

The documents were stamped just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. The earnest money paid to several landowners totaled about $70,000. It can be returned if the Bryan City Council decides within 150 days that it doesn't want to close on the land.

Mayor Pro Tem Mark Conlee, designated by the council to be the spokesman on the issue, said Wednesday the money for the land purchase will come out of Bryan's general fund balance.

"We're not raising any taxes, and we're not going to issue any debt," he said.

The move is an aggressive approach toward recruiting the Health Science Center campus. The Bryan Business Council, the city's economic development arm, has been vying for the campus over the past few months since it was announced the center would expand and open a new location. Council members have said they may be willing to give the 285 acres to the Texas A&M University System in order to get the facility in Bryan's city limits.

Texas A&M facilities are tax-exempt, which means it wouldn't offer any property taxes to Bryan. The payoff, officials say, would be in the form of commercial and residential development that likely would occur in the surrounding area.

The Texas A&M System Board of Regents will decide where the Health Science Center will be built. The regents have considered several sites, including land that already is owned by the system off George Bush Drive. That site, which covers about 150 acres near the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, was recommended by Health Science Center president Nancy Dickey.

The next regents' meeting is Nov. 30.

Mayor Pro Tem Conlee said Wednesday the Health Science Center is one of three prospects for the site.

"If the regents say they want that piece of property, we'd love to sit down and talk about what we can work out," Conlee said. "That land is not 100 percent being purchased for the Health Science Center. We have three plans, three different options. The land is for economic development on the west side of town."

The land was purchased from Thomas Whitt Lightsey, Bruce Treybig, Sally Ann Vavra, Vicki Jan Proctor and the Gainer B. Jones Jr. estate, according to the contracts.

It borders College Station, which means if the Texas A&M System chooses that site to build the medical campus, College Station also stands to gain from it. But it's Bryan that will be spending money to purchase the land.

"College Station gets a spin-off of everything we do," Conlee said. "You can't keep all the benefits from crossing lines. We get benefits from them, too."

The College Station City Council recently sent a letter to the Board of Regents expressing its interest in recruiting the Health Science Center to a site within the College Station city limits but said it would not get into a bidding war with Bryan over the facility.

The land Bryan is purchasing is close to the Texas A&M campus, Easterwood Airport and Texas 47, making it accessible and ripe for development, Conlee said.

"It's going to be huge," he said. "I can't give you a number or percentage. The possibilities are more than my brain can handle."

Former Councilman Russell Bradley also weighed in on the issue when contacted by The Eagle on Wednesday.

"There's very little risk if you put that Health Science Center there," Bradley said. "There is a lot of spin-off opportunity. The Health Science Center is a tax-exempt entity. It's what it spins off and brings in as far as commercial and residential development that will increase your tax base. That's why you'd do it."

Bradley said Bryan needs an innovative development to spawn activity on the west side. Some people who work at the medical campus, if that's what's built there, would probably buy homes in the nearby Traditions golf and residential community, Bradley said.

"The spin-offs are going to be in Bryan," he said. "When you put something on that much raw land like that, you're going to see housing that's not there right now. All that will go into your tax base."

The former councilman said he doesn't think it's a bad idea for the city to buy land and give it away.

"It will more than pay us back for the investment," he said. "We have to look 10 or 20 years down the road. The payoff is huge."

The increase in tax revenue could boost Bryan's revenue stream, he said.

"Cities are not static things," he said. "They're dynamic. Either we're getting better or we're getting worse, but we're not standing still. If you're growing and bringing people to your town, they go and tell other people. The way to provide more services is to raise taxes or increase your tax base. A project like this really increases the tax base. Bingo."

Edited by Scotch

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from the City of Bryan:

Today, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents announced that its future Health Science Center campus would be located in Bryan. Bryan Mayor Ernie Wentrcek issued this statement following the regents' decision:

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from the City of Bryan:

Today, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents announced that its future Health Science Center campus would be located in Bryan. Bryan Mayor Ernie Wentrcek issued this statement following the regents' decision:

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Bryan site chosen for Health Science Center facility

By APRIL AVISON

Eagle Staff Writer

The Texas A&M University System accepted a $6.6 million land donation from Bryan on Friday and will build a new Health Science Center campus at the corner of Raymond Stotzer Parkway and Texas 47.

Although city officials acknowledge it's a significant investment, they said Friday they consider the deal a victory.

"It will promote growth in the city of Bryan, and it brings name recognition not only locally but nationally," Bryan Mayor Ernie Wentrcek said at the A&M system's Board of Regents meeting in Prairie View on Friday. "The return will be in the long term. It will play out over decades."

The land is on the College Station border with Bryan, near Easterwood Airport, but entry to the Health Science Center will be from Bryan, the mayor said, adding that when the new campus is built, its name will include the word "Bryan," in accordance with an agreement between the city and the A&M system.

Bryan officials exchanged handshakes and congratulations after the regents made their decision and shrugged off questions about the potential financial impact that could come from "fronting" $6.6 million to pay for the land they're giving away.

The city won't issue debt or raise taxes to pay for the land, Wentrcek said.

"This in no way will impact our ability to provide service," he said.

The city didn't offer any cash bonuses and won't pay for infrastructure on the land.

The gift from Bryan amounted to about 200 acres. The Health Science Center campus, which will include a research building, a college of medicine and an education facility, will be built on 150 acres. An adjacent 50 acres will be used to recruit public-private medical partnerships.

The city owns an additional 88 acres next to the donated land, and officials hope to attract some complementary - and taxable - businesses, said Bryan Business Council director Dennis Goehring. The acreage occupied by the Health Science Center campus will be tax-exempt.

Adjacent to the planned Health Science Center campus is 55 acres currently owned by local resident Tommy McDonald. Plans are in the works for a retirement community that will include homes and an assisted-living facility. A group of former Texas A&M yell leaders is under contract to purchase the land, and the retirement community would be marketed to university alumni, Goehring said.

"We thought that would be a great fit," Goehring said. "With all the research going on at the Health Science Center, the retirement community would have an opportunity to interface with them."

The retirement community alone would have a $100 million property value, Goehring said. The Health Science Center, its pharmaceutical companies and medical offices would be worth more than $300 million in the next 10 years, Goehring said.

Although Bryan had to spend $6.6 million to pay for the land, only to give it away, the return on the investment will more than cover the cost, Goehring predicted.

"I would spend $6.6 million to get $100 million any day," he said.

The city began trying to recruit the campus several months ago, originally offering its golf course property on Villa Maria Road. Although that option was briefly considered by the Board of Regents, it was later taken off the table for undisclosed reasons.

But the Bryan Business Council continued to pursue the campus, holding meetings with A&M officials and spending $70,000 in earnest money to secure the land on Texas 47 from several property owners.

Nancy Dickey, president of the Health Science Center, recommended earlier this year that the new campus be built on a system-owned site at the corner of F.M. 2818 and George Bush Drive in College Station. Her recommendation came when Bryan was still offering the golf course land rather than the tract at Texas 47 and Raymond Stotzer.

Dickey said Friday after the regents meeting that she's thrilled with the selected site.

"It's in an area where there's lots of opportunity for development," she said. "It's close to campus, but it will be clear that we have two major universities. It's important that we have different identities."

But there was another major selling point that set this property apart from the others, Dickey said.

"Certainly, the fact that it was a gift didn't hurt."

Site selection

The process of selecting a site has been lengthy and has received a lot of local media attention, explained Erle Nye, chairman of the regents building committee.

"I think it's been in the newspaper enough that everybody knows we have a great vision for our Health Science Center," Nye said, pointing out that the center plans to double its enrollment to more than 2,000 students over the next few years.

The Bryan site was "clearly superior" to two others that were discussed during a closed session Thursday, Nye said.

In previous meetings, regents considered the site at George Bush and F.M. 2818, and 53 acres known as the "Westinghouse property" off Earl Rudder Freeway in College Station.

The Westinghouse site is too small for expansion, Dickey said in a report to the regents.

The Bryan site, however, is "appropriate and advantageous," Nye said.

"We have benefited by our friends from the city of Bryan," he said during Friday's meeting, as he acknowledged the mayor and council members who attended. "These gentlemen have worked very hard to bring us a site that will provide 200 acres at what we believe is an excellent location."

Regent Phil Adams said after the meeting that the location is conveniently close to the Texas A&M campus and complements the existing development in the area. Traditions golf and residential community is to the east of the property.

It's also close to Easterwood Airport and Texas 47, which provides good access for travelers, Dickey said.

"As frustrating as this process can be, it has taken some time to get the best site," she said. "It would be hard to top the list of advantages it comes with."

The future

System construction projects generally take about four years from the time the agreement is finalized to the day of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dickey said.

Now that the site has been approved, A&M and Bryan officials will get to work on a master plan.

"We intend to start Monday morning," Dickey said.

Some ideas are already in the works - although they won't necessarily be used when officials sit down to craft a master plan.

Seven teams of A&M architectural design and construction science students recently completed a research and design project and will present models of their proposed Health Science Center campuses Monday afternoon.

The presentations are scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building. The models will be presented to Health Science Center faculty and staff.

The projects were compiled without a specific site in mind.

When actual construction begins on the Bryan site, it will likely be done in phases, with expansion projects and facilities added over time, Dickey said Friday.

Because the Health Science Center aims to double its enrollment, plans call for the system to spend about $130 million on construction over the next five years, Dickey has said.

"Even our short term will be 10 to 15 years," she said Friday. "Long term, we're looking at a 50-year plan."

The mayor said he believes, over time, the area will "explode" with medical offices and research facilities. While 1,300 people are employed by the Health Science Center now, that number will skyrocket in the next decade, and more homes and property taxes will follow, he predicted.

"What this project will bring to the west side is the start of what is possible in Bryan," Wentrcek said. "About 135 years ago, the Legislature decided to put the A&M campus south of Bryan. Now we've finally got a campus in Bryan."

10112_300.jpg

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Bryan site chosen for Health Science Center facility

By APRIL AVISON

Eagle Staff Writer

The Texas A&M University System accepted a $6.6 million land donation from Bryan on Friday and will build a new Health Science Center campus at the corner of Raymond Stotzer Parkway and Texas 47.

Although city officials acknowledge it's a significant investment, they said Friday they consider the deal a victory.

"It will promote growth in the city of Bryan, and it brings name recognition not only locally but nationally," Bryan Mayor Ernie Wentrcek said at the A&M system's Board of Regents meeting in Prairie View on Friday. "The return will be in the long term. It will play out over decades."

The land is on the College Station border with Bryan, near Easterwood Airport, but entry to the Health Science Center will be from Bryan, the mayor said, adding that when the new campus is built, its name will include the word "Bryan," in accordance with an agreement between the city and the A&M system.

Bryan officials exchanged handshakes and congratulations after the regents made their decision and shrugged off questions about the potential financial impact that could come from "fronting" $6.6 million to pay for the land they're giving away.

The city won't issue debt or raise taxes to pay for the land, Wentrcek said.

"This in no way will impact our ability to provide service," he said.

The city didn't offer any cash bonuses and won't pay for infrastructure on the land.

The gift from Bryan amounted to about 200 acres. The Health Science Center campus, which will include a research building, a college of medicine and an education facility, will be built on 150 acres. An adjacent 50 acres will be used to recruit public-private medical partnerships.

The city owns an additional 88 acres next to the donated land, and officials hope to attract some complementary - and taxable - businesses, said Bryan Business Council director Dennis Goehring. The acreage occupied by the Health Science Center campus will be tax-exempt.

Adjacent to the planned Health Science Center campus is 55 acres currently owned by local resident Tommy McDonald. Plans are in the works for a retirement community that will include homes and an assisted-living facility. A group of former Texas A&M yell leaders is under contract to purchase the land, and the retirement community would be marketed to university alumni, Goehring said.

"We thought that would be a great fit," Goehring said. "With all the research going on at the Health Science Center, the retirement community would have an opportunity to interface with them."

The retirement community alone would have a $100 million property value, Goehring said. The Health Science Center, its pharmaceutical companies and medical offices would be worth more than $300 million in the next 10 years, Goehring said.

Although Bryan had to spend $6.6 million to pay for the land, only to give it away, the return on the investment will more than cover the cost, Goehring predicted.

"I would spend $6.6 million to get $100 million any day," he said.

The city began trying to recruit the campus several months ago, originally offering its golf course property on Villa Maria Road. Although that option was briefly considered by the Board of Regents, it was later taken off the table for undisclosed reasons.

But the Bryan Business Council continued to pursue the campus, holding meetings with A&M officials and spending $70,000 in earnest money to secure the land on Texas 47 from several property owners.

Nancy Dickey, president of the Health Science Center, recommended earlier this year that the new campus be built on a system-owned site at the corner of F.M. 2818 and George Bush Drive in College Station. Her recommendation came when Bryan was still offering the golf course land rather than the tract at Texas 47 and Raymond Stotzer.

Dickey said Friday after the regents meeting that she's thrilled with the selected site.

"It's in an area where there's lots of opportunity for development," she said. "It's close to campus, but it will be clear that we have two major universities. It's important that we have different identities."

But there was another major selling point that set this property apart from the others, Dickey said.

"Certainly, the fact that it was a gift didn't hurt."

Site selection

The process of selecting a site has been lengthy and has received a lot of local media attention, explained Erle Nye, chairman of the regents building committee.

"I think it's been in the newspaper enough that everybody knows we have a great vision for our Health Science Center," Nye said, pointing out that the center plans to double its enrollment to more than 2,000 students over the next few years.

The Bryan site was "clearly superior" to two others that were discussed during a closed session Thursday, Nye said.

In previous meetings, regents considered the site at George Bush and F.M. 2818, and 53 acres known as the "Westinghouse property" off Earl Rudder Freeway in College Station.

The Westinghouse site is too small for expansion, Dickey said in a report to the regents.

The Bryan site, however, is "appropriate and advantageous," Nye said.

"We have benefited by our friends from the city of Bryan," he said during Friday's meeting, as he acknowledged the mayor and council members who attended. "These gentlemen have worked very hard to bring us a site that will provide 200 acres at what we believe is an excellent location."

Regent Phil Adams said after the meeting that the location is conveniently close to the Texas A&M campus and complements the existing development in the area. Traditions golf and residential community is to the east of the property.

It's also close to Easterwood Airport and Texas 47, which provides good access for travelers, Dickey said.

"As frustrating as this process can be, it has taken some time to get the best site," she said. "It would be hard to top the list of advantages it comes with."

The future

System construction projects generally take about four years from the time the agreement is finalized to the day of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dickey said.

Now that the site has been approved, A&M and Bryan officials will get to work on a master plan.

"We intend to start Monday morning," Dickey said.

Some ideas are already in the works - although they won't necessarily be used when officials sit down to craft a master plan.

Seven teams of A&M architectural design and construction science students recently completed a research and design project and will present models of their proposed Health Science Center campuses Monday afternoon.

The presentations are scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building. The models will be presented to Health Science Center faculty and staff.

The projects were compiled without a specific site in mind.

When actual construction begins on the Bryan site, it will likely be done in phases, with expansion projects and facilities added over time, Dickey said Friday.

Because the Health Science Center aims to double its enrollment, plans call for the system to spend about $130 million on construction over the next five years, Dickey has said.

"Even our short term will be 10 to 15 years," she said Friday. "Long term, we're looking at a 50-year plan."

The mayor said he believes, over time, the area will "explode" with medical offices and research facilities. While 1,300 people are employed by the Health Science Center now, that number will skyrocket in the next decade, and more homes and property taxes will follow, he predicted.

"What this project will bring to the west side is the start of what is possible in Bryan," Wentrcek said. "About 135 years ago, the Legislature decided to put the A&M campus south of Bryan. Now we've finally got a campus in Bryan."

10112_300.jpg

I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the headline in Saturday's Eagle. Way to go Bryan! I hope this pays off the way it appears it could. I can see this having a huge impact on Traditions and west Bryan as a whole plus who would've thought you'd ever see this title: "Texas A&M Health Science Center at Bryan"?

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Wow. Although there's still a long way to go, Bryan is definitely on the right track. Miramont, Traditions, Park Hudson, Boonville/Austin's Colony area, Downtown, Tejas Center, and the new HSC are all projects that give Bryan a totally different atmosphere than it had only 5-10 years ago. I'm a lifelong Bryan resident & current A&M student, and nothing is more frustrating than to see Bryan classified as the 'ghetto' or inferior city. Hopefully the current growth trends will bring Bryan up to par while benefiting the two cities as a whole.

I look forward to visiting the area in a few years once all this has come to fruition.

p.s., has anyone else in the area noticed how Miramont is a beautiful monstrosity with very few homes, while Traditions has understated (i.e., almost no) landscape enhancements, but plenty of gorgeous homes that are being built & purchased very quickly? Hmmm.... Someone noted earlier that Don Adam's projects generally take forever to complete, and Miramont/University Dr. HQ/Bldg. on Briarcrest near Broadmoor are prime examples.

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I must say, I have a vested interest in this decision, as I own a house in Villa Forest off of Forestwood. The proposed location may be a bit far to have a significant impact for my property, but it's a lot better than being in CS.

From an access standpoint, I think the chosen location is a great one.

Edited by CDeb

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Medical campus designs begin

By APRIL AVISON

Eagle Staff Writer

The master plan for the first phase of a new Health Science Center campus will be complete by summer and is expected to outline a vision for a biomedical research building, simulation center and education facility, center officials said Friday.

A site for the new campus was selected by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Dec. 1. The system accepted a $6.6 million gift of 200 acres from the city of Bryan at the corner of Raymond Stotzer Parkway and Texas 47. About 50 of those acres will be used for public/private partnership businesses.

Bryan city officials have said the spinoff from the Health Science Center will bring new businesses, residents and jobs to the area. Although the Health Science Center won't be on the city's tax rolls, the surrounding development is taxable.

Bryan owns 88 acres adjacent to the Health Science Center site, and city officials say they hope to attract some complementary businesses, such as doctors' offices and clinics. A retirement community also is planned in the area.

The discussion about where the medical campus would be located lasted several months, causing talks about the center's future to take a temporary back seat.

But Friday, the center's president, Nancy Dickey, said she's getting started on a master plan for the first phase of the project. It could include three buildings amounting to a $128 million investment, she said.

"Over the course of our conversation with the regents, which was going on for about a year, we were desperate for space," Dickey said. "We had all sorts of programs and projects that were taking wings, but there was no place to put them."

While the master plan will be ready this summer, the buildings won't be on the ground until late 2010 or early 2011, Dickey predicted.

The education building may include a pharmacy or nursing component, Dickey said.

The simulation center, she said, will allow medical students to practice treatment on dummies.

"When I was in medical school, the way you learned medicine was you watched somebody do it, then you did it with their hand on your hand, [and] then you did it by yourself," Dickey said. "All this was done on a real patient. Now you can simulate things like starting IVs, putting in a chest tube. The simulators allow you to learn the procedure."

While the Health Science Center already has a simulation center, it's small, and the school wants to double its enrollment to 2,000 students over the next few years.

Texas has a great need for physicians, and it's nationally recommended that the number of trained professionals rise by 30 percent because of the aging population and greater demand for health care, Dickey said.

"Our priority is to go from 80 students per class to 200 students per class," she said. That will take care of about 40 percent of what Texas needs."

The Health Science Center received $45 million in tuition revenue bonds that can go toward the first phase of the project, Dickey said, but officials are counting on the Texas Legislature - and old-fashioned philanthropy - to help cover the balance.

"Now that there's a site, individuals may be interested in naming a road or a building," she said.

Although the land surrounding the planned center is owned by Bryan, Dickey said, city officials won't be intensely involved in the Health Science Center's master planning process.

"We'll have times that we'll sit down with the folks from Bryan," she said. "We've made it clear that while we're thrilled with the gift, we're going to be separate entities."

The second phase of the Health Science Center, on which planning will begin after ground is broken on the first part of the project, could include a teaching hospital. The hospital could be built during the third and final phase of the project, Dickey said.

Eventually, the center's facilities now in use at Texas A&M's Joe Reynolds College of Medicine and the School of Rural Public Health would be housed at the new Bryan site, Dickey said.

The center's administrative offices, now operating out of the John Connally Building on Tarrow Street, may also be moved after the first phase is complete, she said.

"Depending on how you build, you can put a lot on 200 acres," Dickey said.

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P.s., has anyone else in the area noticed how Miramont is a beautiful monstrosity with very few homes, while Traditions has understated (i.e., almost no) landscape enhancements, but plenty of gorgeous homes that are being built & purchased very quickly? Hmmm.... Someone noted earlier that Don Adam's projects generally take forever to complete, and Miramont/University Dr. HQ/Bldg. on Briarcrest near Broadmoor are prime examples.

As a born and raised resident of both Bryan and College Station I agree with you. Bryan leaders and those in the private development sector have made HUGE strides in recent years. The HSC is just another feather in their cap. Miramont is growing and I think 5 years from now it'll be largely built out. My parents live on what is arguably the nicest, most expensive street in Pebble Creek. Some time ago they bought a lot on what was a largely undeveloped street after the lots had been cut for almost a year. Then over a year later, when they completed their home, they were still only one of the handful of homes on the street. Even now, 8 years later the street still has at least 2 vacant lots. My point is when you're dealing with properties like those it takes time in B-CS. Miramont is catering to a niche market...escpecially in Bryan. It'll get there and I'm glad the development is there. Who would've 5-10 years ago that Bryan would be home to two of the nicest country clubs in Texas and both would be growing? I think Traditions' major leverage over Miramont is that they've got the full backing of A&M and the vast network of former students, a more challenging course (though not as lavishly landscaped as Miramont), and a wider availablility of homes, etc. I hope both are wonderful successes. Again, kudos to Bryan on landing the A&M HSC.

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Artist renderings from the City of Bryan and A&M HSC websites:

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I hope they eliminate some of that sprawl and allow it to be more of a walkable campus like the Main Campus. Let's not make this another West Campus design.

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I hope they eliminate some of that sprawl and allow it to be more of a walkable campus like the Main Campus. Let's not make this another West Campus design.

I agree with you, I actual wish that the Municipal Golf Course site would have been chosen instead. To me the site that they choice is out of the way and not in the core of the city. Having it at the golf course site would get rid of the far out sprawl, and they could have had a dense walkable campus with highrises. It would have really been nice with the Villa Maria underpass now nearing completion.

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HSC, City of Bryan raise flags on new Bryan campus as construction steams ahead

BRYAN, TX � It was all smiles under hard hats Wednesday, November 5, 2008 as the Texas A&M Health Science Center and City of Bryan hosted a joint flag raising at the new Bryan campus.

Surrounded by heavy machinery and dozens of construction workers, Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., President of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for the Texas A&M University System, joined D. Mark Conlee, Mayor of the City of Bryan, for the ceremonial event as the A&M System makes its first permanent physical presence in the city. They were flanked by top administrators from each organization and key project personnel.

The A&M System Board of Regents approved the allocation of about 200 acres along State Highway 47adjacent to Traditions Club Golf Course to the health science center in December 2006, having earlier accepted the $6.6 million land gift from the City of Bryan. Fifty of these acres will be for health-related public-private partnerships and facilities. A construction contract has been awarded to Houston-based Satterfield and Pontikes Construction Inc.

The new Bryan location will ultimately allow the health science center to consolidate its academic programs and administration currently located throughout Bryan and College Station onto a single campus. The first two buildings � the Health Professions Education Building and the Medical Research and Education Building � are scheduled to open in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

City of Bryan and health science center officials said the new campus would provide an estimated economic benefit to the city of $1 billion for 2010 alone.

Edited by Scotch

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A few pictures of the first buildings at the Texas A&M HSC- Bryan:

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Edited by Scotch

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