UTSA expands Downtown Campus


Josh Peck, News Editor

Following the University of Texas System Board of Regents’ approval of a 4.601-acre land purchase for UTSA in downtown San Antonio in November 2019, UTSA is also considering approving a land transfer nearby at 218 S Laredo. That land was being used by GEO Group, a for-profit prison operator, for decades until they closed earlier this January. The site, called the Central Texas Detention Center, was listed as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center on ICE’s website, and there are plans for the detention center to be demolished.

The 4.601 acres of land that UTSA purchased in November are located on 506 and 702 Dolorosa as pieces of the university’s downtown expansion plan.

That land on Dolorosa will be used to house the National Security Collaboration Center, the School of Data Science and the expanded College of Business.

Although the land has been purchased, a timeline for construction has yet to be determined.

“A timeline will be established as additional funding sources are identified,” Can Saygin, UTSA Senior Vice Provost for University Planning, said.

UTSA has also yet to secure funding for the new College of Business.

“The university is currently pursuing a number of funding options,” Saygin said.

The university has been searching for funding for the new College of Business since the Texas legislature rejected UTSA’s proposal for $126 million in tuition revenue bonds in the spring of 2019.

UTSA President Taylor Eighmy explained how the university would go about seeking funds for the centerpiece of the expanding Downtown Campus.

“[UTSA is] looking at Public-Private Partnerships … [and we are] exploring possible additional support from the UT System and additional philanthropic support via corporate and private gifts,” Eighmy said.

Eighmy also made it clear that costs would not be passed down to students.

“Tuition and fees will not be used to finance the expansion,” Eighmy said.