CAMPUS: Possible new health sciences building in TAMIU’s future
By Laurie Renick
Bridge contributing writer
Published Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022
If it receives final approval, TAMIU plans to construct a new building to support the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. No official date or blueprints are currently available for the proposed facility.
“The project is still pending authorization by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, and no designs or schematics have been created at this time,” Texas A&M International University Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services Steve Harmon wrote in an email to The Bridge. “We would expect to have a more complete assessment with possible building details and forecasts by late Spring …”
Despite a lack of details, many on campus are speculating as to what the new building will offer. Expectations include newer and more advanced equipment, as well as additional academic resources.
Clinical Associate Professor Sumalai Maroonroge said this proposed building would be beneficial for her and her students in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
“The plan is to make the building three floors and to house all of the nursing and health sciences courses there,” Maroonroge said.
Maroonroge explained that it will be a nice change of scenery as well.
“It will be nice to have a new building to be able to teach in,” Maroonroge said. “I know the students will also be excited about the new changes.”
Currently, students pursuing nursing and health sciences degrees do not have a designated building for their major. These students, much like many other majors, require special equipment and resources which cannot be found or easily added to the University’s existing buildings.
“We should have more new buildings on campus,” nursing major Sofia Cadena said. “I can definitely see how it can make going from class to class so much easier for me. I can also meet new people just from being in the building.”
The proposed additional space aims to positively impact student learning by allowing them to practice what they learn in the classroom, so they can apply it in real-world scenarios after graduation.
It may make meeting other students with the same or similar majors easier due to housing them in the same building. Students could have more opportunities to network and meet others with similar career goals.
Another advantage would be how students engage with professors. By grouping all of nursing and health sciences into one building, students would no longer have to walk across campus to ask a professor a question outside of class.
Cadena said this new building should bring her relief, “I’m so glad that I won’t have to stress about being late to one class, if I stay after class to talk to a professor.”
One proposed location for the building is possibly near the Academic Innovation Center and sports fields, though no official location has yet been announced.
Political science major Marcos Villagran expressed a positive reaction to hearing the possibility of the building.
“I’m actually so surprised about the erection of this new building, but I’m excited to see the process of it being built,” Villagran said. “I personally feel that we kind of need something new for the nursing and health sciences. After seeing how well the AIC is doing for students, I could see how a new building would make TAMIU an even better campus.”
Villagran said he views the new building as another stepping stone in the expansion of the campus and ultimately Laredo as a whole.