Senate Research Center S.B. 1079
By: Van de Putte
AUTHOR'S/SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Funding is requested to construct the Phase V building at the downtown campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio (USTA) to meet enrollment demands. This project would consist of a 60,000 square foot building which would include space for additional classrooms, special purpose laboratories, faculty offices, and other related space needs. This project is consistent with the current campus master plan and UTSA's Strategic Initiatives with its movement toward a national recognition as a model of the new comprehensive metropolitan university.
In 1991, USTA announced a major new initiative to significantly expand USTA's downtown presence. This initiative was to include academic, research, and public service programs. That announcement led to the establishment of the USTA Downtown Campus. Ground was broken for Phase I site development in August 1995, and the USTA Downtown Campus opened for classes in the summer of 1997. Ground was broken for Phase II in January 1997, and the Phase II building opened for classes in January 1999. Construction for the Phase III building opened for classes in the fall of 2001. An addition to the Phase III Building was completed in April of 2003. Completion of this project will provide needed classroom space to support the academic programs at the USTA Downtown Campus.
As proposed, S.B. 1079 provides for the issuance of $17 million in bonds to create additional space for general academic classrooms and faculty offices allowing more class sections to be offered which in-turn promotes student participation with more degrees awarded.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 55, Education Code, by adding Section 55.175, as follows:
Sec. 55.175. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM; ADDITIONAL BONDS. (a) Authorizes the board of regents (board) of The University of Texas System (UT System), in addition to the other authority granted by this subchapter, to acquire, purchase, construct, improve, renovate, enlarge, or equip property, buildings structures, or other facilities, including roads and related infrastructure for The University of Texas at San Antonio, including the Downtown Campus Building Phase V, to be financed by the issuance of bonds in accordance with this subchapter, including bonds issued in accordance with a systemwide revenue financing program and secured as provided by that program, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $17 million.
(b) Authorizes the board to pledge irrevocably to the payment of the bonds authorized by this section all or any part of the revenue funds of an institution, branch, or entity of the UT System, including student tuition charges. Prohibits the amount of the pledge made under this subsection from being reduced or abrogated while the bonds for which the pledge is made, or bonds issued to refund those bonds, are outstanding.
(c) Authorizes the board, if sufficient funds are not available to meet its obligations under this section, to transfer funds among institutions, branches, and entities of the UT System to ensure the most equitable and efficient allocation of available resources for each institution, branch, or entity to carry out its duties.
SECTION 2. Amends Section 61.0572(e), Education Code, to make a conforming change.
SECTION 3. Amends Section 61.058(b), Education Code, to make a conforming change.
SECTION 4. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2005.