Newswise — EL PASO, Texas – Today, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) officially broke ground on the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) II, an $83 million, 219,900-square-foot facility. The five-story building will more than double the campus’ research capacity and add crucial instructional space to support its growing student population.

“This building is integral to our vision for TTUHSC El Paso,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of the university. “This will enable us to recruit more researchers to tackle our region’s medical challenges, increase student enrollment in our programs, and ultimately, retain some of the nation’s most well-prepared, culturally competent health care professionals right here in the borderland.”

The MSB II second, third, and fourth floors — more than 87,000 square feet — will be dedicated to research, including laboratories, offices, and research administration. The first floor will house the campus’ largest teaching auditorium yet — a 9,200-square-foot space that can accommodate up to 500 people — and will also feature a dining and food services area that will be staffed by outside vendors. The remaining space will be dedicated to a library, a reflection room for quiet space, classrooms, student study rooms and administration.

“The completion of MSB II will catalyze the development of basic and translational biomedical research at TTUHSC El Paso by providing us with new laboratory facilities to grow interconnected scientific programs that address major diseases and other problems in health care,” said Peter Rotwein, M.D., vice president for research. “We will have the opportunity to recruit new faculty, teach our students the newest aspects of biomedical investigation, and enhance our capabilities in translating discoveries into better treatments and cures.” 

Like other campus facilities, the building’s exterior will mirror the architecture of the Spanish Renaissance, which is distinguished by ornate columns, red-tiled roofs, and colossal archways.

Funding for the MSB II was approved by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015 under House Bill 100, which appropriated $75 million for the building’s construction. TTUHSC El Paso will contribute an additional $8 million, bringing the total construction cost to $83 million.

Construction of the MSB II will be complete in approximately two years. Houston-based architectural firm Perkins + Will designed the building and Sundt Construction, Inc. is contracted to build the new facility.