Developers and city leaders celebrated the opening Thursday of the first building at Tarleton State University’s new campus along the Chisholm Trail Parkway in southwest Fort Worth.
The 76,000-square-foot, $40 million building sits atop 80 acres donated by Walton Development. It holds classrooms, offices, a small gym, a study area, student services center and common areas.
Administrators have registered 1,721 students for fall classes and hope to have 9,000 at the campus by 2030.
Mayor Betsy Price said the new campus further increases the value of what she calls Fort Worth’s education economy.
“Tarleton’s Fort Worth campus is a significant step in offering accessible and affordable higher education opportunities that will lead our community toward a better educated workforce,” she said.
Administrators are planning a second building for programs in the College of Education and School of Kinesiology. They’re also adding a doctoral program in criminal justice.
Tarleton State, part of the Texas A&M system, has been in Fort Worth for 40 years. Construction on the new three-story building began last year.
Tarleton president Dominic Dottavio said the new campus is the continuation of founder John Tarleton’s dream.
“As the heart of our presence in Fort Worth, this building reflects our rich heritage and bright future,” Dottavio said.
John Vick, executive vice president of Walton Global Holdings, said the company wants to create a community with the university as the centerpiece, with homes, businesses, shops and restaurants surrounding the campus.
Fort Worth City Councilman Jungus Jordan, who represents the area, said he hopes to see a Trinity TEXRail stop make its way to the campus.
The commuter line, which connects Fort Worth and DFW Airport, goes as far south as the Texas and Pacific Station in downtown Fort Worth, but leaders hope to extend it 1.5 miles to the medical district.