UTSA makes campus renovations


Photo by Lindsey Thomas

Heather Montoya

UTSA Facilities made renovations to the Main and Downtown campuses during the summer to enhance student success, cultivate the environment and support the growing student population. UTSA’s Strategic Plan, a 10-year vision to make UTSA a model for student success and research, guided these renovations set to continue throughout 2019.

“The renovations at UTSA [are] centered around efforts that support student success,” Paul Goodman, interim associate vice president for facilities, said. “They included spaces for student services, collaboration and group study, and improving and expanding restrooms, classrooms and administrative support spaces.”

Renovations made on the Main Campus include: a collaboration and study area in the Flawn Building, a study lounge in the Business Building, improved wheelchair-accessibility in a lecture hall in the McKinney Humanities Building, restroom renovations and additions on the fourth floor of the John Peace Library and office renovations for the provost and vice president of business affairs.

Some of the renovations involving safety, sustainability and maintenance were also made over the summer. New parking spots were made available to students, pedestrian and bicycle pathways were added, 5,000 fluorescent light bulbs were replaced with LED lights in the Flawn Building and a chiller providing air conditioning at the Downtown Campus are a few of the changes made.

“Studies show that students are more likely to be productive and successful in comfortable classroom and learning environments,” Goodman said. “Our focus is to make sure we are giving students the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

UTSA’s Office of Facilities have either directly performed the renovations or managed design firms and contractors that completed them. The funds for the renovations come from various sources and the renovations themselves are part of a $6 million investment UTSA makes annually to maintain and improve the campuses.

“Funds come from a variety of sources including institutional reserves designated for renovations and deferred maintenance, departmental funds and auxiliary funds,” Goodman said. “UTSA also receives Permanent University Funds of about $2 million per year in the form of library, equipment, repair and rehabilitation funds.”

The Student Success Center, costing $7.33 million, is funded separately through the UT System Revenue Financing System and is expected to be completed by Spring 2020. The center is expected to provide various services to UTSA students.

“The Student Success Center will house all of UTSA’s Academic Advising, Academic Success Coaching, Graduation Help Desk, LEAD/SOAR Student Success Programs and Transfer & Transition Student Success Services,” Goodman said.

Projects currently underway or in the planning process include the Downtown Recreation Center; the Science and Engineering Building on the Main Campus; the Guadalupe Hall, a living and learning community; and the National Security Collaboration Center and the School for Data Sciences at the Downtown Campus.

Students, faculty or staff interested in recommending a renovation can give their suggestions to the Student Government Association (SGA). The Office of Facilities meets with SGA throughout the year to discuss current and potential projects. SGA holds their general assembly meetings every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union’s Denman Ballroom. Anyone is able to make propositions during their open forum.