A new study lounge in the Business Building (BB 3.04.16) offers students a place to collaborate and focus on learning.
(September 3, 2019) – Students, faculty, and staff will notice various improvements to UTSA campus facilities this semester. Over the summer and throughout 2019, UTSA’s facilities team has been busy completing more than two dozen renovation and improvement projects around the main and downtown campuses. The projects were carried out to foster student success, create a positive and vibrant campus environment for the entire UTSA community, and support UTSA’s growing student population.
Renovation projects have been completed to improve collaboration, inclusiveness and functionality:
- A collaboration and study area on the third floor of the Flawn building replaced the old cubicles – a project requested by the students;
- A studio has been converted into a study lounge for students in the Business Building (BB 3.04.16);
- A McKinney lecture hall (MH 2.01.12) has been modified to improve accessibility for students in wheelchairs;
- Two women’s restrooms and one men’s restroom have been renovated on the fourth floor of the John Peace Library (JPL). Additionally, men’s restrooms and all-gender restrooms have been added for capacity and inclusiveness;
- Offices have been renovated in the main building for the Provost/Vice President Academic Affairs and the Vice President Commercial Affairs. The renovations allow more staff to occupy the same space and have created a more open and accessible environment, allowing faculty and staff who are focused on the university’s academic and business priorities to better serve students from a centralized location.
In addition, UTSA civil and structural engineering students are currently conducting research in the full-scale test laboratory. Located on the northwest side of the main campus, adjacent to the 1604 loop, the building includes a laboratory with two cranes with a capacity of 30 tons each for loading, unloading and transporting heavy specimens. Students, faculty, and staff conduct building research that simulates a wide range of structural challenges in buildings and bridges, including polycyclic fatigue, earthquakes, and blast loads.
At the downtown campus, a new health clinic in the Buena Vista building (BVB 1.308) provides medical services to students. Tax Services has a new location in the Frio Building (FS 2.402) and the Downtown Campus Office of Police and Public Safety has moved to the Frio Building (FS 1.528).
In order to improve security, mobility and parking on campus, several projects have recently been carried out:
- A new parking lot, Resident Lot 5, is open to students. It is located off Barshop Blvd. on the west side of the village of Chaparral. The addition of 215 seats will help offset the loss of space from the upcoming Guadalupe Hall project.
- A new UTSA transportation building is located in the east campus lot; the bus fleet was moved from Brackenridge Avenue Lot 2 (BK2) to the East Campus lot, freeing up nearly 100 parking spaces for commuters to BK2;
- A bicycle and pedestrian path has been added to the BK1 and BK2 parking lots to improve student safety and access;
- A disembarkation area and a waiting area have been created at the UTSA circle near the main building to facilitate disembarkations and improve traffic mobility;
- Perimeter roads around the main campus have been repaired and sealed for appearance and life.
Several indoor and outdoor lighting projects will improve safety and sustainability:
- In the Flawn building, 5,000 fluorescent lights were replaced with LED lights throughout the building to increase lighting levels and reduce energy consumption;
- Exterior lighting upgrades have been made on all UTSA campuses;
- LED lighting at UTSA monuments has been replaced to improve colors and visibility.
During the summer, several maintenance projects were carried out:
- JPL passenger elevators received cabin and control upgrades;
- A 500-ton chiller used to air-condition the downtown campus was replaced;
- The air conditioning equipment serving the convocation center has been improved;
- Two vintage 1970s steam boilers at the Thermal Power Plant were replaced with three new boilers to increase capacity and improve heating reliability for the main campus buildings;
- The floors of all buildings on campus have been cleaned and waxed. and
- The pavement and walkways around the main and downtown campuses have been gently washed
“Our facilities team has worked very hard this summer to upgrade facilities at our main and downtown campuses and to create an environment that supports the success of our students, faculty and staff,” said Veronica MendezUTSA Senior Vice President for Business Affairs.
To support student success and the student experience, the UTSA Facilities Office team has now turned to new projects, including the construction of the Student Success Center. The complex, between the McKinney Humanities Building and the North Paseo Building, will consolidate the university’s undergraduate counseling services and select support programs into a single area of campus to make it easier for students to access support programs school and resources for student success. The installation is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020.
A new downtown campus recreation center with fitness equipment, weights and a separate exercise room is under construction in the Frio building (FS 1.504) and will be ready for use by students later this fall.
Crews are also set to open Guadalupe Hall, UTSA’s newest living and learning community, this fall. It should be ready for freshmen moving in for the fall 2021 semester.