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Round Rock Campus continues "Healthcare Neighborhood" evolution

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
February 13, 2018

ROUND ROCK – With the completion of Willow Hall in the spring of this year, the Round Rock Campus will take a major step toward becoming Texas State University's "Healthcare Neighborhood" under the University Master Plan.

The plan, designed to guide development through the year 2027, focuses on distinct "neighborhood" concepts to guide future redevelopment on the San Marcos Campus, the Round Rock Campus and the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park. In addition to Round Rock, these designated neighborhoods include Science and Engineering, the Hilltop and Performing Arts on the San Marcos Campus and Research and Innovation at the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park.

The development of the Healthcare Neighborhood is driven by the ongoing migration of the College of Health Professions from San Marcos to Round Rock. Upon completion of Willow Hall, the departments of Communication Disorders, Physical Therapy and Respiratory Care, along with associated research labs, clinics and the Respiratory Care Sleep Center, will relocate to Round Rock. They join the St. David’s School of Nursing, which opened as a new program in 2010 in the state-of-the-art Nursing Building to help address the state's chronic nurse shortage.

"We are excited to see the continuation of more than a decade of growth at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus with the opening of Willow Hall," said Eric Algoe, vice president for finance and support services. "This new state-of-the-art teaching facility will allow the three programs it houses to grow by 30 percent over the coming years."

The next priority for the Healthcare Neighborhood is construction of Esperanza Hall, currently on hold pending funding. Esperanza Hall would frame the western side of the Round Rock mall, becoming the fourth academic building on the Round Rock Campus. The completion of Esperanza Hall would allow the remaining programs in the College of Health Professions — Clinical Laboratory Science, Health Administration, Health Information Management and Radiation Therapy — to relocate to Round Rock. Consolidation of the College of Health Professions on the Round Rock Campus will provide a similar educational experience found at medical schools and health science campuses. Over the past decade, the area has developed into a healthcare nexus, with St. David's Round Rock Medical Center, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Round Rock, Cornerstone Hospital, the Seton Medical Center Williamson and the Texas A&M Health Science Center now operating near the Round Rock Campus, enabling Texas State to offer expanded collaborative opportunities with these area healthcare facilities.

"The Round Rock community has offered great leadership and vision in helping to create what is rapidly becoming one of the top destinations for the provision of healthcare and healthcare education in Texas," Algoe said. "Texas State is proud to be a part of this ongoing effort."

With the Healthcare Neighborhood increasing the student population in the area, the University Master Plan calls for improved pedestrian access and safety with the build-out of the campus mall, additional sidewalks, and expanded parking areas and road structure on the 101-acre campus. The plan also calls for eventual expansion of the library with collaborative study/work and office space, as well as additional space for a testing center and disability services.

As Williamson County continues to experience significant annual growth — the population now exceeds 500,000 — the University Master Plan positions the Round Rock Campus to continue serving the needs of the North Austin area for the next decade. Collectively, these facilities provide instructional space, administrative offices, and student support spaces. Despite its increased focus on healthcare education, the Round Rock Campus will continue to offer upper-level courses leading to baccalaureate degrees in an array of disciplines as well as offering select master’s degrees in the fast-growing fields of business administration, computer science, educational leadership, elementary education, professional counseling, public administration and software engineering. Additionally, the needs of Central Texas are further served by extensive offerings of certifications and continuing education, online and distance learning opportunities via evening and weekend sessions — delivering vital education for working adults, professionals and lifelong learners.

For more information on the University Master Plan, visit masterplan.fss.txstate.edu.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,849 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 180,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.

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