SAN ANTONIO (May 9, 2013) — The University of Texas System Board of Regents this week approved design development plans and authorized the expenditure of $45 million from Permanent University Fund (PUF) bond proceeds to construct an Academic Learning and Teaching Center at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
Munoz Architects of San Antonio is the design firm and Bartlett Cocke General Contractor LLC will oversee the construction, which is projected to be substantially complete by spring 2015.
The 125,000-square-foot, four-floor building will be built where existing modular structures are located behind the Health Science Center’s Holly Auditorium. “This new center will accommodate the added medical students who are bound for the new UT medical school in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the Health Science Center. “These students will undertake the first two years of their medical education in San Antonio before moving to the facilities in the Valley for clinical training. This new center will also include much-needed space and improvements for all our Health Science Center students, thereby enhancing our critical mission of education.”
The majority of the space in the new structure will be devoted to flexible classrooms and lecture halls that will support collaborative and interprofessional learning. A greatly needed and updated human anatomy teaching facility, with the latest and most sophisticated technology, including electronic simulators and virtual dissection equipment, will be provided.
The building will also include a common area, including food services and eating venues, to be used by students, faculty and staff. “As student enrollment at the Health Science Center has increased nearly 22 percent from fall 2000 (2,543) to fall 2012 (3,249), and as methods of teaching the health sciences have changed significantly since our facilities were first built, this additional new teaching space, with its advanced technology, is critically needed,” Dr. Henrich said. This will be the first building devoted primarily to education to be built on the central campus in many years, he said.
As noted, this new structure will also serve as a gateway for the creation of a free-standing medical school in the Valley as authorized by the 81st Legislature and endorsed by the Board of Regents, Dr. Henrich said.
Construction will start at summer’s end.
“I am excited about the many new positive attributes that this building will provide and I thank you, in advance, for tolerating any inconvenience that you might experience during the demolition and construction period,” Dr. Henrich said in an email to faculty, staff and students.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.