The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Friday authorized Chancellor Michael D. McKinney to enter into negotiations with Triple L Management and/or the City of San Antonio to select a site in South San Antonio for the permanent campus of Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Triple L Management will donate the land that is identified for the university and the city will continue to be a key player in the final negotiations and the financing and construction of the campus.
The Board reached its decision after considering a combination of six primary criteria used in reviewing the sites: access, size, physical characteristics, restrictions, infrastructure and image.
“There is not a bad choice among any of the four sites proposed, which has made our decision very difficult,” said John D. White, Chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. “After many months of careful consideration and thoughtful discussion, we are extremely pleased to be entering into these negotiations, which will enable us to take another giant leap forward in making Texas A&M University-San Antonio a reality.”
“City of San Antonio officials have been extremely helpful in working with us to bring quality higher education to the south side of the city,” said Regent Lowry Mays, longtime San Antonio resident and chairman of the board of Clear Channel Communications. “We look forward to a continuing partnership with the City as we work together to support our community and increase enrollment in our state’s colleges and universities.”
Since 2000, courses have been offered at the junior- and senior-levels at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville-System Center-San Antonio, which ultimately will become Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Current enrollment at the center is the equivalent of 545 full-time students. Graduates receive degrees from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, which manages the center.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature approved the creation of Texas A&M University-San Antonio. In 2006, the Legislature authorized $40 million in tuition revenue bonds for development of the new campus, contingent on enrollment reaching the equivalent of 1,500 full-time students before 2010. The proposed campus is expected to eventually serve about 25,000 students and stimulate economic development in the region.
“We are committed to growing the San Antonio campus well beyond the 1,500 full-time students needed to obtain the tuition revenue bonds provided by the Legislature,” said Chancellor Michael D. McKinney. “As we add new course offerings and hire additional faculty, our student population at the center in South San Antonio continues to increase. The A&M System will continue to tell students throughout the state that South San Antonio’s A&M campus has something very exciting to offer young people seeking a good education.”
The Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus also will serve as headquarters to the Irrigation Technology Center (ITC), a center established in 2002 by the Texas Water Resources Institute and administered through two A&M System agencies, Texas Cooperative Extension and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Plans are to construct a major, state-of-the-art ITC facility on the A&M-San Antonio campus site for education, testing and applied research promoting efficient irrigation, water conservation, profitable agricultural production and quality urban landscapes.
The Palo Alto College campus has served as the sole location of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville-System Center-San Antonio since its inception. In December, the Board voted to lease additional building space from the South San Antonio Independent School District (ISD) to serve as an interim location prior to the development of a separate, permanent campus and to more than double the existing classroom capacity currently available on the Palo Alto campus.