Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA Downtown expansion transforms San Antonio

UTSA+Downtown+expansion+transforms+San+Antonio
Sarthak Mohanty

Ten thousand students are expected to live and study on the 32 acres of UTSA’s Downtown Campus by 2028. The region’s economy hopes to change due to mixed-use construction, microtransit and student housing. The downtown expansion of UTSA has resulted in a significant change. 

The school will house 10,000 students on 32 acres by 2028, creating a bustling community. This expansion is a driver of economic evolution rather than just education. The influence is expected to be felt throughout the region’s economy through constructing purpose-built student accommodation, developing mixed-use infrastructure and integrating micro-transit systems. This thriving urban hub is expected to transform the cityscape and create new avenues for innovation and growth as students swarm there. 

Veronica Salazar, the chief enterprise development officer and executive vice president for business affairs at UTSA, spoke with Robert Rivard of the “bigcitysmalltown” podcast about the university’s influence on downtown and the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) future. She wants to transform downtown San Antonio in a way that can make it more lively. By doing this, Salazar hopes to provide students with a place to hang out, live, eat and enjoy the city in itself. 

According to the podcast, Salazar understands it will be a lot of pressure. However, the school is providing 15 million dollars to start the data science school to allow access to downtown students. “Bring in access to downtown and the community — show the impact of the community that has great support and livelihood,” Salazar said.

According to Salazar’s most recent remarks, UTSA is actively considering moving the ITC to a location conveniently close to the famous Crockett Hotel and just a short distance from the Alamo. In addition, the university is about to introduce a state-of-the-art micro-transit system that will be free for both students and the general public as part of its progressive programs. 

With the help of partnerships with Centro and VIA Metropolitan Transit, this cutting-edge transportation system will effectively link important campus hubs like the Southwest Campus, the San Pedro I and II buildings and the busy downtown campus. This will result in increased convenience and efficiency.

“Once we complete the ecosystem and the buildings, then you’ll start seeing these students that are prime for collaborations with other places downtown. We see great potential in bringing a college like that to the downtown core,” Salazar said.  An innovative and collaborative tapestry will emerge once our campus’s infrastructure and ecosystem are completely developed. We expect a blossoming of synergies between our students and the wide range of establishments downtown at this point. She wants to allow a new and innovative downtown campus for UTSA students who are willing to live downtown. She wants to create a whole new ambiance to the downtown campus and bring light into the area. 

Salazar’s vision captures the enormous potential that arises from the fusion of urban life and academia. 

“We envision a vibrant flow of ideas, talent and resources that will revitalize not only the educational landscape but also the economic and cultural vitality of the entire region by locating a college of UTSA’s caliber in the center of the downtown area,” Salazar said. 

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About the Contributor
Alessandra Avila, Assistant News Editor
Alessandra (she/her)  is a Junior at UTSA where she is Majoring in Communications and will finish her undergrad in the spring of 2025. She plans on returning to school to earn her MDA in Communications. Her end goal is to be a journalist and be the newest face on news television. She is passionate about writing and joined the Paisano in the fall of 2023 to share her creativity and writing abilities. In her downtime, you can find her playing golf with her dad, traveling, reading, or catching up with her little brother and mom.

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