University Construction Impacts Local Economy

Construction equipment reverberates throughout the campus. The sound of money. SFA President Dr. Tito Guerrero said, "As it is so far we have either finished, we are finishing, we are designing over $110-million of new capital construction."

Local workers are hired, but so are out of town crews, much to the delight of hotel manager Lovey Li. "We have many construction people out of town. Come from Houston, Beaumont, everywhere. That really help a lot," said Li.

Li's business should continue to do well. Five construction projects received funding approval from the house on Thursday. Now it's on to the Senate. Legislators are hopeful the funding will come through so construction can begin in January.

Impact studies show they'll employ almost 3,000 workers generating more than 8 million dollars in state and local tax revenue. This is a third of the economic impact from projects going on now according to Physical Plant Director John Rulfs. "We have workers come on campus. They use local facilities for eating. They use the facilities to buy equipment and material from, so it gets added to the community and state," said Rulfs.

Some purchases are tax exempt, but items like beer and lottery tickets aren't. Economic consultants report when workers knock off, they contribute hundreds of thousands of tax revenue dollars through these sources.

Guerrero said, "I think when people see the very positive impact on the economy that projects like these have they'll be able to better appreciate why this is important." Lovey Li certainly does. She smiled as describing her loyal patrons. "Very good customer. Never bother us."