UT Southwestern is planning a major expansion in the Fort Worth medical district thanks to a $25 million gift from Fort Worth oilman W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr.
After getting approval from the University of Texas board of regents, UT Southwestern announced it will build the UT Southwestern Monty and Tex Moncrief Medical Center near the Moncrief Cancer Institute, which is affiliated with the school.
The first building on the 6.3-acre site at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street is scheduled to be completed by September 2016. It will be UT Southwestern’s first named campus outside of Dallas.
“My Dad would be pleased that the Moncrief Radiation Center that he created in Fort Worth years ago has now evolved into UT Southwestern’s plan for a major clinic in Fort Worth to help take care of the medical needs of the citizens of Fort Worth and North Texas,” said W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr., president of the William A. and Elizabeth B. Moncrief Foundation, in a news release.
Moncrief’s father was the late legendary Texas wildcatter W.A. “Monty” Moncrief, who drilled Lathrop No. 1, one of the first major East Texas oil wells.
“This fulfills a lifelong effort by Tex to honor his father by enabling UT Southwestern Medical Center to construct and operate a clinic in Fort Worth that will provide medical services that are innovative and unique, and will directly benefit the citizens of our community,” said Fort Worth attorney Dee Kelly Sr., founding partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, who serves on the board of directors of the Moncrief Cancer Foundation.
Few specific details about the new medical center were released. UT Southwestern spokesman Russell Rian said the institution is “still in midst of planning services” for the facility.
“At this time, we have no plans for additional facilities, but the site gives us flexibility should that be warranted in the future,” Rian said.
The medical center will include the former Victory Healthcare Center site that was announced in 2013 with construction started last year. In June, developer Tom Pisula told the Star-Telegram that construction stopped Feb. 17 when it learned Victory Healthcare was starting to have “significant troubles.”
Victory Healthcare, based in The Woodlands, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on June 12.
In June, Pisula said that at least 10 potential groups were interested in becoming the tenant in the development, including three public institutions and seven private physician-surgical groups. Pisula couldn’t be reached for comment but a search of deed records on Friday found several construction-related liens on the property.
Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South Inc., which has helped spur revitalization on Fort Worth’s the near south side, said it is good news that the Victory site will be completed. But he said he didn’t know how the remainder of the property would be developed.
“They’re going to be doing cancer treatment there but the other parcels are unknown,” Paine said.
The Moncrief family’s donations have included about $14 million from the William A. and Elizabeth B. Moncrief Foundation and from Tex Moncrief for UT Southwestern programs in Dallas. The Moncriefs have also given $75 million to the Moncrief Cancer Foundation for the UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth.
“With this magnificent $25 million gift from Mr. Moncrief, UT Southwestern will be able to expand its presence in the Fort Worth area, providing advanced specialty care, access to clinical trials, and expertise that only an academic medical center can provide,” said Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern. “This continues an era of growth for UT Southwestern.”
In February, the University of Texas board of regents purchased 1.5 acres at Rosedale and Grainger streets, less than a block north of the Moncrief Cancer Institute.
The Moncrief Cancer Foundation bought the land on Magnolia Avenue in 2010 for the cancer institute and gave the property to UT Southwestern. The school’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center has been affiliated with the Moncrief Center since 1999.
Tex Moncrief, 95, graduated from UT-Austin with a degree in petroleum engineering and eventually went to work as an engineer for Stanolind Oil and Gas Co., the forerunner of Amoco.
In 1943, Moncrief left the company to serve in the Navy, where he was commissioned as an officer in the Pacific. After the war, he joined his father’s oil business, which had interests in Texas, Wyoming and Florida.