TCU Breaks Ground on New Medical Campus

By Eric Althoff

FORT WORTH, TexasTexas Christian University aims to increase both its teaching and health-care capabilities in the greater Dallas area thanks to its soon-to-be-realized Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine building, the first major TCU building to be constructed off the main campus. When completed in the summer of 2024, the Burnett School will train 240 “Empathetic Scholars” in a modern medical teaching facility located in Fort Worth’s Medical Innovation District and convenient to several local hospitals and clinics.

As designed by CO Architects and Hoefer Welker’s Dallas-Fort Worth office, the Burnett School of Medicine facility will encompass 95,000 square feet of educational space for the medical profession and is part of 5.3-acre “extended campus” plan envisioned by TCU. The four-story structure will be sited at the corners of South Henderson and West Rosedale.

The medical education center is named in honor of Fort Worth native Anne Burnett Marion, a philanthropist who was dedicated to serving her community and the cause of medical education. Prior to her death in 2020, Burnett Marion donated $50 million to the medical school’s construction budget.

Jonathan Kanda, principal at Los Angeles-based CO Architects, said that his company’s approach entails respecting the local aesthetic of the DFW region, while infusing the school with modern amenities necessary to current medical education.

“This new home will enable collaborative learning in team-based classrooms, experiential learning in simulated medical environments, and a meaningful, intimate culture in a wide range of community areas and small-group study spaces,” Kanda said.

Meanwhile, Travis Leissner, an associate principal at Hoefer Welker, believes that the new medical campus will serve to fuel future innovation “not just through traditional life science research but also through close engagement with a broad, interdisciplinary array of hospital systems, health-related consortia, and biotech industries partners.”

The designers are working in conjunction with Linbeck, who is acting as both construction manager and general contractor, as well as civil and structural engineer Dunaway and building systems engineer SSR Inc. Together they will have to tackle a project timeline that must allow for the building to be ready for the next class of students in the fall of 2024. (The first class commenced their studies in 2019, according to the university.)

“To meet construction milestones…the project team could not operate and deliver business as usual,” Hoefer Welker Vice President Tony Schmitz informed School Construction News. “We all have been working simultaneously and collaboratively in design and document creation to provide direction and ensure design intent and constructability have been addressed for active work in the field.”

The medical school’s dean, Stuart D. Flynn, termed it a “new era” for TCU, as well as for Fort Worth’s Near Southside Neighborhood and surrounding Tarrant County.