By David Gabler
Assistant Vice President for Communications
(Nov. 17, 2006)--The University of Texas System Board of Regents (BOR) voted Thursday to allow the purchase by The University of Texas at San Antonio of a 125-acre parcel of land near the UTSA 1604 Campus on the city's Northwest Side.
The land will allow UTSA to expand to the west as the university continues its rapid growth. The BOR agreed to provide three-fourths of the estimated $20 million to purchase the land.
"This is an historic moment for UTSA," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "We are grateful to the Board of Regents for their support as UTSA continues its efforts to serve more students and become a premier research university."
According to Romo, the new land will be used for recreation and athletics programs, intramural fields, parking and housing. The land addition will open space on the 1604 Campus for construction of academic buildings.
The land parcel is approximately one-half mile west of the 1604 Campus, northeast of the intersection of Loop 1604 and West Hausman Road. The land would add approximately 20 percent more space to the 600-acre campus. This fall, the university enrolled more than 28,000 students, an increase of more than 50 percent since 1999.
Though the purchase is not finalized, UTSA plans to contribute $5.5 million with $14.5 million to come from the Permanent University Fund. The fund supports schools in the UT and Texas A&M systems through oil and gas royalties.
Talks about the land purchase began three months ago when landowner Patricia Shield Ayers contacted UTSA regarding the availability of the property. Her husband, Robert Ayers, is the former vice chancellor of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.
Last year, the Board of Regents allocated approximately $39 million to UTSA to help build the Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building, renovate existing science buildings and expand the University Center.