UTRGV working to bring in research facility

McALLEN — The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is working to finalize a private-public partnership that will allow it to get a new research facility in the City of McAllen by the spring 2017 semester and possibly a mini-medical campus in the future.

The partnership between UTRGV, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and the City of McAllen is allowing speedier construction of the research facility, which university officials said would take years if it was to be built using UT-System funding.

“There are many levels of scrutiny to get public funds to build a new building on the campus proper,” said Theresa Maldonado, UTRGV senior vice president for research innovation and economic development. “If you do get the money, you have to go through long process where there’s facility planning and construction at the university system level that works with the local facilities office at the campus, and it can go on forever.”

The lengthy process was not ideal considering the new university was formed with the expectation of becoming an emerging research institution, she said, so a public-private collaboration with one of the hospitals that already partners with the university in programs such as residencies was ideal.

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dperez-hernandez@themonitor.com