TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Governor Greg Abbott spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for UT Tyler’s new $308 million medical education building on Monday, January 23rd.
Abbott spoke at the ceremony after being introduced by several other officials, including UT system chairman and former Tyler mayor Kevin Eltif, UT chancellor James Milliken, and UT Tyler president Kirk Calhoun.
“As I was walking in, a 10-year-old girl came up to me and wanted to take a picture with me, and we did, and she told me that she wanted to be a doctor, and she wanted to go to medical school right here in Tyler, Texas,” Abbott said.
Tyler UT School of Medicine plans to host the first group of students on campus in the summer of 2023, and the building is expected to be completed by March 2025.
The Governor said this new medical school will change the future of East Texas forever.
“What you’re doing today in Tyler, Texas is a generational shift in the arc of the future of East Texas with the creation of the first medical school in East Texas,” Abbott said.
The newly approved Medical Education Building is a five-story building of nearly 248,000 square feet. It will be built in downtown Tyler and plans to be connected by a suspension bridge to UT Heath East Texas Hospital, “allowing hands-on training for residents of neighboring hospitals.”
During the ceremony, Eltife said that the groundbreaking marks a “monumental day”.
“Forget our titles, forget our position in life, forget our past,” Eltif said. “We are all here because we care about future generations and we want to repay forward the blessings that have been bestowed on all of us.”
School officials expect about 40 students to be enrolled each year. Enrollment in the first class is scheduled for July 2023.