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Waste Program Successes

The Baylor University - Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC)

The Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) is a state-of-the-art research facility, which is a part of Baylor University (Baylor). The BRIC is used for a wide variety of research in a range of fields. BRIC’s collaboration with industry leads to moving technology from the research and testing phase in a lab to market. However, it may surprise you that this facility, home to several departments, faculty, students, industry partners and stakeholders, was once the location of the General Tire and Rubber Company.

The General Tire and Rubber Company was situated on 22-acres and began operations in 1941, quickly becoming a manufacturing staple in Waco, employing many of the city’s residents and operating for 40 years until closing its doors in 1986. The facility was dormant for 25 years until Baylor acquired it for the BRIC. Before the acquisition, the facility was assessed for contamination under the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the predecessor of the TCEQ. While the TNRCC issued a regulatory closure in early 1996 for commercial/industrial land use, Baylor stipulated further assessment to obtain the residential land use.  

Baylor determined that the main building utilized for the former General Tire and Rubber Company had infrastructure perfect for developing a research facility. The industrial grade, 18-inch concrete floors and vibration-free building were well suited for the placement of sensitive research equipment.

The former General Tire and Rubber Company facility entered the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) in April 2010. The site was investigated for a range of Chemicals of Concern, which included polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, total petroleum hydrocarbons, semi volatile organic compounds, and metals. Soil and groundwater samples were collected on-site and in proximity to the site to adequately assess contamination. The property was determined to have concentrations below actionable levels and the TCEQ issued a Certificate of Completion for residential use on August 10, 2011.

The BRIC, still displaying much of the original tire manufacturing components (such as the large interior columnal structures used for tire transport) was modernized with additional infrastructure and exterior. It now accommodates three core facilities, symposium spaces, research space, etc., within its 330,000 square feet. At the time of VCP closure, it was projected that, when the building was fully subscribed, an estimated 22,000 jobs and 4.2 billion dollars would be brought to Waco.

Front view of the redeveloped Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) building.The MD Anderson bullding entrance.

Aerial historical photo of the former General Tire and Rubber Company site along with some photos of tire assembly and storage inside the building- 1944.Arial view of the MD Anderson Cancen Center in 2017

Photo from Google Earth

The front view of the vacant former Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Facility acquired in 1995 along with some interior photos of the building prior to redevelopment.The front view of the vacant former Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Facility acquired in 1995 along with some interior photos of the building prior to redevelopment.