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Welcome to the UTSA Downtown Campus. photo of Jesse ZapataThe Downtown Campus opened at its current and permanent location in 1997 and contributes to UTSA’s mission to offer students access to opportunities for excellence in academics, research and outreach.

Located just a few blocks from beautiful downtown San Antonio, the campus offers select undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs as well as most services students receive at the Main Campus. The Downtown Campus is also home to a large array of community outreach programs and extended education offerings.

The campus’ location near the city center provides our students with access to internships, field placements and other opportunities with for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, schools and civic, political, educational and community agencies. Quite naturally, many of the programs and degrees offered at the UTSA Downtown Campus focus on urban issues, research and leadership.

As Senior Vice Provost for the Downtown Campus, I oversee the delivery of programs and services from academic, business and student affairs. Since 1994, I have been committed to ensuring that the campus offers quality programs and services. I encourage you to explore what the Downtown Campus has to offer. I believe you will be impressed.

Jesse T. Zapata, Ph.D.
Senior Vice Provost for the UTSA Downtown Campus


Campus History

  • • September 1991 – UTSA Strategic Plan endorses downtown initiative and UTSA Downtown is established.
  • • January 1992 – UTSA offers courses at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
  • • January 1993 – Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approves designation of courses taught in leased space at Cypress Tower as “on-campus” for funding purposes.
  • • February 1993 – Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Inc. purchases Fiesta Plaza site and offers it to UTSA.
  • • March 1993 – Demolition of Fiesta Plaza building begins.
  • • May-June 1993 – Texas Legislature and Governor Richards approve South Texas/Border Region Initiative, which allocated $71.5 million to UTSA, with $20 million stipulated for the Downtown Campus.
  • • October 1993 – UT System Board of Regents accepts land gift from Bill Miller Bar-B-Q; UT System Board of Regents appoints Saldaña and Associates as Project Architect for UTSA Downtown.
  • • January 1994 – Students begin taking classes at UTSA Downtown at its temporary location at Cypress Tower. Enrollment is more than 900.
  • • June 1994 – UT System Board of Regents authorizes purchase of 1.679 acres adjacent to former Fiesta Plaza site.
  • • August 1994 – Dr. Jesse T. Zapata is appointed associate provost for the Downtown Campus.
  • • December 1994 – UT System Board of Regents approves preliminary architectural plans.
  • • August 1995 – Construction begins on permanent Downtown Campus site. The Frio Street Building is the first building to be constructed.
  • • January 1997 – UTSA celebrates groundbreaking on the campus’ second building, the Buena Vista Building.
  • • July 1997 – UTSA Downtown offers its first classes in the 110,000-square-foot Frio Street Building. By the fall semester, 1,900 were enrolled.
  • • September 1997 – UTSA Downtown Campus Dedication Ceremony
  • • January 1999 – UTSA holds a dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 145,500-square-foot Buena Vista Building.
  • • September 1999 – UTSA holds groundbreaking ceremony for the Downtown Campus’ third building, the Durango Building.
  • • September 2001 – The 127,500-square-foot Durango Building is completed.
  • • April 2004 – UTSA reaches a land swap agreement with the City of San Antonio to increase the size of the Downtown Campus. UTSA acquired the Cattleman Square surface parking lot and the land across Frio Street where the Business Technology Center (BTC) was located. Later, UTSA purchased the BTC and renamed it the Monterey Building.