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UT Health Science Center developing $45 million academic center
May 9, 2013

By Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is set to undergo more expansion.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved design development plans and authorized the expenditure of $45 million from Permanent University Fund bond proceeds to construct an Academic Learning and Teaching Center at the Northwest San Antonio campus.

The 125,000-square-foot, four-floor building will be constructed on a site 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," says Health Science Center President Dr. William L. Henrich. "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 new center is slated to be completed by the spring of 2015. Most of the space in the new structure will be devoted to flexible classrooms and lecture halls that will support collaborative and interprofessional learning. The academic facility will also house a new human anatomy teaching facility.

"As student enrollment at the Health Science Center has increased nearly 22 percent from fall 2000 to fall 2012, 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," Henrich explains. "This will be the first building devoted primarily to education to be built on the central campus in many years."

The new center will 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. Construction will begin in late summer.


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