Thursday, January 4, 2024

Blanco Hall groundbreaking underscores UTSA’s growth, commitment to student success

Blanco Hall groundbreaking underscores UTSA’s growth, commitment to student success

OCTOBER 23, 2023 — UTSA celebrated the groundbreaking for Blanco Hall, a residential community that will house nearly 600 first-year students and sophomores on the Main Campus. The event on Saturday coincided with UTSA Day, an open house experience that gives future Roadrunners a chance to see what campus life is about.

With research showing that on-campus housing strengthens student connections, increases engagement in campus activities and boosts learning opportunities for undergraduates, living on campus is especially valuable for first-year and first-generation students.

“At UTSA, we’re redefining higher education as a next-generation, Hispanic Thriving university where students from all backgrounds can excel,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy about the institution’s latest residential complex. “We’re doing so by putting our students first, striving towards becoming a model for student success.”

“I couldn't be prouder of how Blanco Hall will positively impact all of our future students.”

The groundbreaking ceremony included an interactive activity that engaged attendees in symbolically building UTSA’s future by dropping orange feathers into clear pillars. The event also featured remarks from other university leaders who spoke on their vision for campus growth and student success.

“Creating a living-learning environment brings students into close contact with resources to help them succeed,” said Senior Vice Provost for Student Success Tammy Wyatt. “Empirical data from a UTSA Housing and Residential Life Survey reinforces the many benefits of living on campus, with a vast majority of on-campus residents reporting contributions to learning, improved academic performance, and an enhanced sense of belonging. Likewise, UTSA on-campus residents earn higher GPAs and are retained at higher rates compared to their non-resident peers.”

As a living-learning community, Blanco Hall will feature educational resources, including a unique kitchen that will support UTSA’s program in dietetics. The kitchen will serve as a shared nutrition, research and practice laboratory. Additionally, the dietetics program plans to utilize the complex’s multipurpose room as an education and training center to engage students in meaningful research related to chronic disease prevention.

The complex will feature a variety of common spaces for study and community-building activities. Students will benefit from the hall’s proximity to dining options, existing residence communities and campus resources that enable students to develop personally and professionally.

“We couldn’t be prouder of changing the trajectory of our students’ lives, while also creating new knowledge and growing the talent pipeline of our city, state and beyond,” Eighmy said. “But before our students go out and do great things, they will develop a lot of the critical life skills they’ll need by immersing themselves in our campus residence life.”

Upon completion, expected in June 2025, the UTSA Main Campus will have 5,183 beds—putting the university at 95% of its goal to have 5,400 beds on campus by 2025.

⇒ Read the announcement of plans for Blanco Hall.
Learn more about future campus growth in the Campus Master Plan.
⇒ Discover options for on-campus housing.

“As enrollment grows at UTSA, we are thrilled to continue expanding our physical campus to meet the needs of our students,” said Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Enterprise Development Officer Veronica Salazar. “UTSA is committed to investing in new buildings that model best practices for supporting student success.

Added Eighmy, “I’m continually excited about the growth of our university, especially our residence halls, and couldn’t be prouder of how Blanco Hall will positively impact all of our future students.”

Brandie Yale and Kevin Arnold

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.