JANUARY 12, 2021 – A new outdoor classroom at UTSA will provide science students and the San Antonio community with opportunities to get their hands wet via water education. The Cypress Living Laboratory is designed to promote habitat and environmental education opportunities associated with the Edwards Aquifer watershed, including the laboratory’s adjacent creek ecosystem.
Designed by Ford, Powell & Carson, the state-of-the-art facility is part of a $2.6 million project funded by the City of San Antonio’s Proposition 1 Edwards Aquifer Protection Venue Project.
The innovative project supports UTSA’s Classroom to Career initiative, which creates experiential learning environments for students. In addition to an open concept classroom, the approximately 2,000-square-foot building will include multiple low-impact development features to manage storm runoff and will showcase best management practices for improving water quality and quantity. The San Antonio River Authority, which is contracted by the city to administer the program that funds this project, is providing guidance to UTSA and its design team on the living laboratory’s low-impact development components.
An eco-friendly green roof, bioswale and bio retention areas will be functional examples and educational areas for students and the community to learn about water issues, such as the impact of urbanization on water quality over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. UTSA also plans to use the space for outreach activities and summer camps open to the community.
“We are so excited to add this facility to our outreach initiatives,” said Janis Bush, who is project lead as well as chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology and associate dean for graduate studies in the College of Sciences. “This unique building will enhance our students’ experiential learning opportunities by providing hands-on education to prepare them to tackle environmental challenges facing our world, such as water quality, water quantity and water management.”
This is the first building of a planned nature area on the northwest corner of Main Campus within a dedicated 11-acre set aside for the College of Sciences. The Cypress Living Laboratory is a project under the Campus Master Plan and is the first new building at UTSA to be named after a native Texas tree.
“The Cypress Living Laboratory will serve as a unique and aesthetic long-term education destination for San Antonio’s K–12 students and university students to learn about the importance of protecting the Edwards Aquifer—our primary source of drinking water—while observing how the project’s [low-impact development] features, which are still a relatively new concept to the San Antonio area, can improve water quality,” said Homer Garcia III, director for San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Ford, Powell & Carson has supported UTSA’s growth as San Antonio’s urban-serving university since the inception of the university. Fifty years ago the architecture firm designed the original three UTSA classroom buildings, Library-Administration Building and Sombrilla. UTSA alumni Celeste Taylor ’04, Mark Henderson ’14, M.Arch. ’16 and Andy Castillo ’07, M.Arch. ’10 are part of the current Ford, Powell & Carson design team.
Construction of the Cypress Living Laboratory is scheduled to begin this month and is expected to be ready for students, faculty and the community to use this summer.
The Innovation Academy is an 8-hour online hybrid course designed to introduce faculty to a variety of educational ideas, best practices and resources for becoming more comfortable in teaching in different modalities.Virtual Event
Join us for a gathering of friends, faculty, staff and students as we celebrate the beginning of a new academic year, promote UTSA’s commitment to the San Antonio arts community, and preview our community art classes at the historic Southwest Campus.Main Gallery, John L. Santikos Building, UTSA Southwest Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association rowdily invites you to join your fellow 'Runners at the UTSA Alumni Association Gala.16641 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256
This will be an orientation for students with a history of foster care.Business Building (BB 2.05.04,) Main Campus
The Honors College and Housing & Residence Life invites students to the Student Union lawn for a Movie Under the Stars. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, a picnic, and bug spray. Movie concessions will be provided! This event is open to all students.Student Union Lawn, Main Campus
Come meet your Student Success Center, learn how to MOVE through college successfully, and meet new friends. We will have food, short info sessions, giveaways, and more!McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.01 Galleria,) Main Campus
Get help finding your way around campus. UTSA Ambassadors and Honors Alliance members can help you find your classes, UTSA Card, and any other resources around campus! Simply come by our table in the Sombrilla!Roadrunner Statue, Main Campus
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