Marcus Connolly / The Paisano
After 33 years, The Paisano independent student newspaper finally has a place to call home.
The doors to the Paisano Media Arts Center were officially opened on Sept. 13 after a ribbon cutting ceremony lead by renowned local businessman Red McCombs.
McCombs has been instrumental in the Paisano Media Arts Center’s construction — his name endows the Red McCombs newsroom as a thank-you for his $100,000 donation.
McCombs surprised audience members at Saturday’s event by announcing that he would match any donations up to $20,000 to The Paisano and challenged Paisano supporters to meet his $20,000 mark within the week.
Donations for the new building also came from Carol Lafferty Scott, the Mays Family Foundation, David Noll, Roger Trevino Sr. and the Lifshutz Family Foundation.
Wittigs Office Interiors, Steves and Sons, Doug Cross, Viridian Solutions and Rick Lewis gave in-kind donations.
Prominent community members also spoke at the event. State Representative Mike Villarreal (D- 123) followed McCombs and stressed the importance of education.
City Councilman Ron Nirenberg (District 8) spoke about UTSA’s development and influence on San Antonio, and The Paisano’s integral role in facilitating student communication.
Justice Sandee Bryan Marion, from the fourth court of appeals, congratulated The Paisano on its new building and spoke about the importance of freedom of speech and the press.
Vice President of Community Services Jude Valdez spoke in place of UTSA President Ricardo Romo and mentioned The Paisano’s accomplishments.
UTSA Architecture Professor Rick Lewis spoke about the building’s design. It was Professor Rick Lewis’ graduate architecture class who designed the building collaborating with editors to determine what was needed for the building, while staying within The Paisano’s operational budget.
Last to speak was Kierra Jones from the KIPP Aspire Academy. The Paisano works with the 8th grade newspaper class to advise students on how to design and write for their paper, The Archer. Paisano editors create the layout and design of The Archer, which is paid for by the UTSA Writing Program.
Jones spoke about how producing a newspaper has taught her students to think critically and inspired them to take initiative in other aspects of their lives.
After Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were able to view the building and eat lunch provided by food trucks from The Block.