On the first day back of the special session for state lawmakers Tuesday, Texas Tech University officials announced the first steps for a veterinary school program with the state’s funding. 

The House passed a planning grant of $4.1 million dollars for Tech to start the design process for the school, funded through the state’s budget in late May.

“It’s something I think the legislature thought should be a priority to plan, but there’s nothing final here,” TTU Chancellor Robery Duncan said. “This is a planning grant. The challenge for us is to develop something unique, innovative, and that solves the problem.”

Duncan said this works towards an overall solution to fix a need for veterinary practices in the region for large, food, and rural mixed animals. 

“There’s an absolutely need for it,” Lubbock Representative Dustin Burrows said. “You talk to industry, you talk to people in the area, and we need a vet school in this area to deal with and service a very large important agricultural industry.”
“In addition to that, I think it’s going to be great for Texas Tech,” Burrows added. “I think it’s going to boost their stature, their notoriety across the United States and I think it’s a very good thing.”

University officials said the main facility will be in Amarillo. However, they are still in the very early stages of planning operation, infrastructure, academic design, and finalizing the budget. Overall, they added the school will cost between $80 and $90 million to complete. 

Duncan said another aspect of the planning process would be gathering funding details by a budget proposal and presenting to the Board, University, and local philanthropies. 

“We want to make sure that anything we do, and our board is very clear, anything we do needs to financially and academically viable,” Duncan said. 

The planning grant has a two-year deadline for TTU to create a proposal to present to the House in order to move forward on this program.