event audience
construction site
Top: President Ricardo Romo addresses crowd
Center: Commemorative stone signed by attendees
Bottom: Romo and others overlook construction site of
new engineering facility.
videocam View KSAT TV video: "UTSA 2016: A Shared Vision" (11/5/07)

UTSA community celebrates strategic plan, vision

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Nov. 5, 2007)--UTSA President Ricardo Romo joined state legislators, community leaders and UTSA community members in a symbolic celebration laying the cornerstone for UTSA's new $82 million engineering building on the 1604 Campus.

Joining Romo to mark the beginning of the two-year construction project were State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and State Sen. Carlos Uresti.

Romo also recognized the ongoing support of the Bexar County legislative delegation including Joaquin Castro, Frank Corte, Joe Farias, David Leibowitz, Trey Martinez-Fischer, Ruth Jones McClendon, Jose Menendez, Robert Puente, Joe Straus and Mike Villarreal.

To commemorate the event, guests signed a large framed piece of limestone that will be placed in one of the exterior walls of the building.

The ceremony featured the unveiling of the university's strategic plan, "A Shared Vision: UTSA 2016." Created in an 18-month process involving faculty, students, staff, alumni, community leaders and others, the plan will provide a strategic framework for UTSA's growth.

"As we work to build a premier research university, this plan presents specific goals and initiatives to guide us as we make important decisions that will shape the future of our institution," said Romo.

A key component in the strategic plan is Engineering Building II, which will help the College of Engineering achieve its 10-year goal of doubling student enrollment from 2,000 to 4,000 students and doubling research funding, currently at $5 million annually. To help fund the facility, the Texas Legislature approved $74 million in tuition revenue bonds and UT System Board of Regents allocated $8.25 million.

The three-story academic facility will house research and teaching laboratories, classrooms, academic support facilities and offices for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on the ground level. The first floor will have offices and support facilities for the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Department of Electrical Engineering and the College of Engineering will be housed on the second floor. The College of Sciences Department of Physics and Astronomy will occupy the third floor with office and support facilities.

The 150,000 square-foot facility adjacent to the $84 million Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building was designed by Garza Bomberger and Associates, and will be constructed by Walbridge/Bartlett Cocke. Completion is scheduled for August 2009.

One of the nation's leading producers of Hispanic engineers, the UTSA College of Engineering offers doctoral, master's and ABET-accredited bachelor's degree programs. The college's four departments (biomedical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering) have prepared thousands of graduates for successful careers in the public and private sectors and higher education.

Over the last five years, the college has seen a 90-percent increase in enrollment with more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its programs.

For more information, visit the UTSA College of Engineering Web site.

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