EDINBURG, Texas (AP) -

A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for a medical education building that will house classrooms and lab space for students at the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The groundbreaking was held Tuesday for the building on the campus of the University of Texas-Pan American. Construction on the site began July 1.

The new university is a merger of UT-Pan American and UT-Brownsville, and will include a medical school in an area experts say is underserved in health care.

The new university's first class will start in fall 2015. UT System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo tells The Monitor in McAllen that the new building is scheduled to be completed by December 2015, and will open in the spring of 2016.