Texas A&M University is developing plans for a medical campus in the backyard of its traditional rival, the University of Texas.

A&M’s board of regents recently voted to accept a 15-acre donation from the Avery family on which to build a new Health Science Center campus in Round Rock, a suburb of Austin, home of UT’s main campus. A&M will also purchase 10 acres from the Avery family for $1.3 million and can purchase an additional 25 acres if needed. Campus construction would be financed with bonds, officials said.

A&M, known primarily for its veterinary school, announced plans to use $9 million from the Texas Legislature to build a Round Rock HSC last spring. State lawmakers say the A&M campus could eventually become a four-year medical school that could place student interns directly in hospitals by the end of 2008. A&M has been working with Scott & White Hospital in Temple, 60 miles north of Austin, but its HSC has also affiliated with Austin-based St. David’s HealthCare, Seton Family of Hospitals, and Lone Star Circle of Care.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center includes the Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

The University of Texas has long operated the premier medical schools in Texas, with campuses in Dallas, Houston, and Galveston. UT’s Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas is seeking a feasibility study on building a branch in Austin, where the UT system has been stymied by political opposition in the past.


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