The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has selected construction company Whiting-Turner (Baltimore), engineering firm Jacobs (Dallas) and architecture firm Overland Partners (San Antonio) to design and build the School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center on Dolorosa street, the first phase of its downtown campus expansion.
UTSA anticipates the $90 million building, which will house both the school and the center, will be completed some time in 2022. Construction is expected to begin in December.
In 2018, UTSA officials unveiled a plan to quadruple the size of its inner city campus, which opened in 1997 just west of Interstate 35/Interstate 10 on downtown’s outskirts. The expansion would include three new buildings to Dolorosa south of City Hall, in downtown’s core, to house the new data science school, the new national security center and to relocate the UTSA College of Business from the main campus.
Last year those plans changed and now UTSA will consolidate the data science school and national security center under one roof at 506 Dolorosa just east of San Pedro Creek on property it will purchase from the city.
“In early 2019, it was decided to co-locate in the same building to foster that collaboration and maximize the impact of institutional dollars,” Joe Izbrand, UTSA’s chief communications officer, said in an email.
West of the creek, UTSA will build its business school on property it will purchase from Bexar County. West of that property, 702 Dolorosa, is where the national security center was supposed to be built on property it will purchase from the city. UTSA says it has no plans for the property.
In 2018, the City Council agreed to sell the properties at 506 and 702 Dolorosa to UTSA for $7.3 million. Earlier this year, Bexar County commissioners approved the sale of 622 Dolorosa to UTSA for $5.7 million.
The School of Data Science will house more than 70 faculty members in fields such as cyber security, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence across 84,500 square feet. The National Security Collaboration Center will consume 72,000 square feet of laboratories and research space for officials in government and industry experts in the field of cybersecurity.
The $90 million building is being funded by $70 million from the Permanent University Fund, approved by the University of Texas System Board of Regents, $15 million from developer and philanthropist Graham Weston, and $5 million from UTSA’s institutional funds.
The new building for the UTSA College of Business isn’t funded and there is no construction timetable, Izbrand said.
“We hope to begin the planning phase next year,” he said.
North of the building, Weston’s development company Weston Urban plans to build 274 mixed-income apartments on a site that includes former Continental Hotel and Arana office buildings.
On the current downtown campus on West César E. Chávez Boulevard, more academic buildings, student housing and a community wellness and recreation center are planned as part of UTSA’s expansion.
Clarification: The square footage of the data science school and the cybersecurity center have been updated.
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