The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

From a humble beginning to a modern facility

Texas A&M-San Antonio’s new Main Campus Building was built using a $40 million tuition revenue bond. Photos by Cornelio Ontiveros
By Melody Mendoza
This semester, the university moved to the Main Campus Building, utilizing a $40 million tuition revenue bond and an agreement of a $500,000 lease of two buildings on Brooks City-Base.Main Campus is located at One University Way off of Highway 410 South between Zarzamora and Moursund roads, and the academic building and future kinesiology center are at Brooks Campus, 2601 Louis Bauer Drive.

Rick Trefzer, assistant vice president for finance and administration, said funding of the main building included two parts: $30 million that covered the cost of the construction of the building and $10 million that went to the planning, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Trefzer provided a break down of cost highlights for the first completed building on Main Campus:

  • $3 million for movable furniture such as desks, tables and chairs,
  • $290,000 for a new phone system at the two campuses,
  • $464,000 for information technology infrastructure that includes network equipment and computers,
  • $51,000 for science lab equipment,
  • $270,000 that covered the energy management system,
  • $114,000 for kitchen equipment, and finally,
  • approximately $250,000 for audio and visual equipment.

Brooks Campus includes an academic building and kinesiology gym, which is leased for 5 years from the Brooks for a total $3,276,480, Trefzer said.

Also, Brooks Development Authority provided $300,000 for building improvements in preparation for classes this fall.

The technology additions to Brooks Campus include:

  • About $165,611 of wired equipment,
  • $87,191 of wireless equipment,
  • $62,956 for classroom technology,
  • $12,167 of cabling installation,
  • $28,000 for cameras and door access and
  • $20,000 to Move Solutions.

The Mesquite reported Aug. 19 that Move Solutions assisted administrators, faculty and staff with packing, transporting and unpacking, and showed employees the proper way to pack wires and electronics.

Every year, the lease agreement requires the university to pay an additional dollar per square foot because of the escalation of rent, Trefzer said.

Therefore, the lease payment will increase to $577,648 next year, $655,296 in the third year, $732,944 in the fourth year, and $810,592 for the final year.

Trefzer said Sept. 15 via email, “We will continue to try and keep tuition rates constant, but it would be difficult to anticipate what changes may occur.”

The budget for Brooks Campus covered the furnishing of 42 private offices at a cost of $189,000, and 132 cubicle work stations for about $396,000, according to Trefzer’s calculations.

He added that by canceling the lease at St. Joseph’s Campus and TEEX, or Texas A&M-University System Texas Engineering Extension Service, the university will save $208,000 annually.

TEEX offers technical and skill-training programs aimed at employed workers and those entering the labor force, and A&M-San Antonio was leasing space in the same building.

St. Joseph’s Campus is located at 535 New Laredo Hwy., San Antonio, TX 78211.

The ability to cancel both leases “helped make the decision to move into the larger, more modern facility,” Trefzer said.

Construction continues on Main Campus Building on the 649 acred of land donated by the Verano Land Group.

The move was celebrated as a milestone and referred to an “historic event” on Aug. 23 by Texas A&M University System Regent Elaine Mendoza at the university’s first faculty and staff convocation.

According to the university’s website, classes started Fall 2000 with 126 students in portables housed on one of Palo Alto College’s parking lots. In 2003, the 78th Legislature passed SB 800 to create Texas A&M-San Antonio, authored by Senator Frank Madla.

Marilu Reyna, associate vice president of university communications said, 1500 full-time students within a system center were needed by Jan. 2009 in order to pursue stand-alone status for the university.

Then in 2007, the Verano Land Group donated 694 acres of land on the city’s south side for the construction of a new campus, and provided $1 million for scholarships.
On May 23, 2009, Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 629 which created Texas A&M University-San Antonio as a stand-alone university. Tuition revenue bonds were authorized under HB153 for $40 million for Phase I construction of Main Campus.


About the Author

Melody Mendoza
Melody Mendoza is the Comunidad Editor for The Mesquite. Previously, she reported on the development of the year-old Main Campus Building and Brooks City-Base Campus, and has followed Texas A&M-San Antonio's growth through its plans for two new buildings. Melody is a communication-journalism major, serves on the Student Media Board and is a freelance reporter and part-time editorial assistant for the San Antonio Express-News. She is a 2008 East Central High School graduate, an award-winning reporter for The Ranger (San Antonio College's student newspaper), and a youth leader at her church.

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