The Big Picture
More students, more academic programs, more research projects, more students living on campus.
UTSA’s unprecedented growth in the past decade and its emergence as a research-driven institution gave rise to the need for a new campus master plan. Unveiled in June 2009, the plan offers a blueprint for development of the Main and Downtown academic campuses over the next several decades. And, with the coming of football to UTSA, the plan expands that vision to an athletics and recreational facility at UTSA Park West.
A primary theme in the master plan is the linking of new academic centers with open, pedestrian-friendly spaces and a logical system of pathways, or paseos, a nod to architect O’Neil Ford’s original vision for the Main Campus. Existing surface parking lots will be replaced with garages, enhanced signage and campus entryways are planned, and lush native landscaping will be added. An iconic bell tower will be the focal point of a new central quadrangle on the Main Campus, which will serve as a gateway to the campus at Edward Ximenes Avenue and a central gathering place for the university.
The plan establishes a network of open green spaces, including several new formal academic quadrangles, sports fields and green reserves. The largely undeveloped eastern portion of the Main Campus, known to be a habitat for endangered species, will be preserved in a natural state, and the plan addresses energy efficiency and sustainability guidelines. A “Collegetown” along UTSA Boulevard will provide students with an attractive, open commercial center that will include housing, retail and office space.
The plan will add more than 6.5 million gross square feet of space for teaching, research, housing, recreation and offices to the Main Campus, and close to 1 million square feet at the Downtown Campus. Plans for the HemisFair Park Campus, home to the Institute of Texan Cultures, will be developed in accordance with City of San Antonio master plans. The complete plan can be found at utsa.edu/masterplan.
- Joe Michael Feist