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Stairs leading to Science Building
Stairs at Science Building, 1604 Campus

Board of Regents approve funds for UTSA campus expansion

By Marianne Lewis
Director of Public Affairs

(Aug. 10, 2006)--The UT System Board of Regents today approved nearly $39.2 million for new facilities and upgrades to existing classrooms and laboratories at UTSA.

The funds allocated to academic and health institutions in the UT System are part of $505.7 million in bond proceeds from two sources -- $423.7 million from Permanent University Fund (PUF) bonds and $82 million from UT System revenue financing system bonds.

"These resources are essential for UTSA as we move to become a premier research university," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "The Board of Regents' approval of expansion at the university demonstrates their commitment to expanding access to excellence in education for all Texans."

UTSA was allocated $22.5 million for renovation to four science buildings that house laboratories for earth and life physical science and small animals. These include the Science Building and three laboratories built in 1975. Work in the four buildings includes mechanical system upgrades and significant laboratory renovations.

The board also allocated $8.25 million for the Engineering Building Phase II project planned for the 1604 Campus. During the last special session, the Texas Legislature approved more than $74 million in tuition revenue bonds (TRBs) for construction, representing 90 percent of the needed funding for the $82.5 million engineering facility.

The board allocated $2.2 million for campus repair and rehabilitation projects. UTSA will use nearly half of this allocation to replace the existing cooling towers at the thermal energy plant on the 1604 Campus. The remainder of the funds will be used for various safety and facility upgrades at the 1604 and Downtown campuses to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) .

The board allocated an additional $6.22 million for the UTSA University Center Expansion Phase III project, slated to begin construction this year.

In other action, the board approved UTSA's request to move forward with plans to offer a Ph.D. in psychology. The program is designed to prepare students to be leading professionals in the field of psychology with a strong background in psychological theory, research methods, techniques of statistical analysis and grant-writing components.

Additionally, UTSA's request to rename a portion of John Peace Boulevard as UTSA Circle was approved. The renamed section is the circle drive in front of the Main Building on the 1604 Campus. UTSA expects to use "One UTSA Circle" as the university's primary address.

UTSA also received the board's approval to name a new street on the 1604 Campus in honor of former UT System Regent Sam Barshop. Expected to be completed in January 2007, Sam Barshop Boulevard will run north and south, parallel to Babcock Road.

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