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About the UTSA Downtown Campus

The Downtown Campus is one of UTSA's three campuses located within the city of San Antonio, along with the Main Campus and Hemisfair Campus.

The 18-acre campus is located in the heart of San Antonio just west of IH-35 at the intersection of W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. and Frio Street and is easily accessible by car or bus. It is also within walking distance of many cultural attractions, restaurants and businesses that make San Antonio a top destination in Texas.

The UTSA Downtown Campus is home to the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the College of Public Policy and the College of Education and Human Development departments of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

The campus offers seven undergraduate degrees, nine master’s degrees, three doctoral degrees and seven graduate certificates. More than one-third of UTSA’s graduate students take classes at the Downtown Campus.

One of the defining elements of the campus is its connection to the community and its role as a center for urban issues and research. Many of the university's public service and community education programs are housed at the Downtown Campus including the Institute for P-20 Initiatives, Center for Civic Engagement, and Extended Education.

The UTSA Downtown Campus includes a 19,000 square-foot library, computer lab, professional quality theater, art gallery, campus bookstore, student center, fitness center, sport court, dining facilities, health and counseling services, student disability services, testing services, tutoring and writing support and more.

Campus History

  • • June 1991 – Dr. Jude Valdez appointed by President Kirkpatrick to the position of Vice President for Downtown Operations with responsibility to develop a more “robust” downtown presence.
  • • 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.
  • • July 2003 – The Institute for Economic Development relocates its headquarters to the Downtown Campus.
  • • April 2004 – UTSA reaches a land swap agreement with the City of San Antonio to increase the size of the Downtown Campus from 11 acres to 18 acres. 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.
  • • February 2017 - Jude Valdez, Vice President of Community Services was selected to serve in an administrative oversight role for the Downtown Campus. Dr. Valdez now chairs the Downtown Campus Task Force, which is responsible for exploring potential changes for the utilization of this vital asset of the university.