HB 1522 could bring economic growth to Wichita Falls

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Now that House Bill 1522 is awaiting Governor Greg Abbott’s signature, how will the Midwestern State University and Texas Tech Merger affect economic development in the city?

Henry Florsheim with the Chamber of Commerce said being affiliated with the Texas Tech System will bring a new sense of appeal for business owners wanting to plant roots in Wichita Falls.

“It can be a big deal especially if somebody is already a fan or supporter of Texas Tech,” Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.

Florsheim as well as District 69 State Representative James Frank both believe House Bill 1522 is a done deal with just one step to make it final, Abbott’s signature.

So, what does this mean for Wichita Falls?

“It’s gonna help MSU grow and when MSU grows, Wichita Falls grows,” Florsheim said. “Texas Tech has developed a worldwide brand recently and having that name attached to our university will help people understand where we are and it will be able to attract more of a sense of pride outside the area.”

House 1522 passed in the senate on Monday.

Both Frank and Florsheim believe having a big system like Texas Tech associated with MSU, opens the door to many opportunities.

“I think there is kind of a level of professionalism, there are contacts within the legislature that’s hard to have when you only have one state rep and senator that represent you,” Franks said. “There’s a lot more in the texas tech system [and] I that helps when you are a state university in terms of appropriations.”

Also, economic growth for the city as a whole.

“When we are telling our story to prospects, to companies, to site consults and if we are able to say the name of the university that is associated with texas tech there’ll be that instant recognition of who we are,” Florsheim said.

In addition to this Florsheim said he hopes this merger instills more pride in people for university, in some way transitioning Wichita Falls into a college town.

He said the dynamic a college town brings can strengthen the community.

“We know if a student creates ties in the business community and they have potential jobs because of the relationships they’ve built and they’re working at a company that offers jobs in their major there’s way better chance they’re gonna stick around when they’re done,” Florsheim said.

Florsheim and Frank said they are excited to see what Texas Tech can bring to the MSU and Wichita Falls.

Frank said the effective date to get the ball rolling on the merger is September first once the governor has signed the bill.

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