Fort Worth’s medical district, already the city’s hub for health care, will gain a like-minded institution in the coming years: the new campus for the TCU School of Medicine.

“This is a remarkable milestone, a pivotal moment in the Near Southside’s long evolution and continued growth,” Mike Brennan, president of Near Southside, Inc, told the Report. “TCU’s decision to locate their school of medicine, right in the heart of the Near Southside medical district, is going to take our medical innovation district efforts to the next level.”

The school announced the news onsite in the Near Southside district Monday afternoon. 

A throng of city leaders and medical school personnel gathered at the corner of West Rosedale and South Henderson streets, treading on what is now roughly five acres of concrete slabs and grass. The nondescript setting belied what will come: a four-story, roughly 100,000 square-foot building that will house classrooms, faculty offices and lab space for the school’s nearly 250 medical students, dozens of whom attended the announcement.

“I think this will impact our students more than anything — and that’s what it’s all about,” TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. told the crowd. “We’ve recruited some of the top medical and educational talent in the country, and right now we’re program-rich and space-poor. This building will match the quality of our program to the quality of the space that our faculty have to teach our students in.”

The building has yet to be designed. It could cost an estimated $40-50 million and be supported by donors, Boschini told the Report after the announcement. It will be the first building of what may be several on the new campus, but those buildings have yet to be conceived, the medical school’s dean Dr. Stuart D. Flynn told the Report. 

The architects for the building are CO Architects, who have designed medical education buildings around the country and Hoefer Welker, which has offices in Kansas City and Dallas. The builder is Linbeck Group. Construction will begin this year with completion expected in 2024. 

The new campus offers an opportunity for a fresh start, first-year medical student Naimah Sarwar, who attended the announcement, said. As a new medical school in a new space, “we have a lot of room to do things differently,” she said. 

The school of medicine has described itself as one of the “most innovative schools in the country,” according to the press release about the Monday announcement. The school formed in 2015 as a joint endeavor by TCU and The University of North Texas Health Science Center, but the partnership ended in January after the two universities couldn’t agree on a path forward together. 

The separation agreement allows the school of medicine to continue to use the Health Science Center’s facilities for a monthly fee of nearly $225,000 until September, when the fee increases to nearly $230,000. The school of medicine, however, plans to move most of its operations to an interim site after the current semester ends, Flynn said. He anticipates the first-year students who begin in July 2024 will be the inaugural class in the new campus. 

“This and the A&M announcement show that Fort Worth and Tarrant County are on fire,” former Mayor Betsy Price told the Report. “And they complement each other. A&M is going to focus on agriculture for a lot of their R&D while TCU will focus on the medical side of research. It’s a great thing for the area, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Alexis Allison is the health reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Her position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. Contact her by email or via Twitter

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org. 

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here

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Alexis Allison

Alexis Allison covers health for the Fort Worth Report. When she can, she'll slip in an illustration or two. Allison is a former high school English teacher and hopes her journalism is likewise educational....

Bob Francis

Bob Francis is business editor for fortworthreport.org. He has been covering business news locally and nationally for many years. He can be reached at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org

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