UTSA announces massive downtown expansion plans

UTSA's new expansion plans are split into two five-year phases, with funding now secured to build the School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center. Courtesy: UTSA

"I'm extremely excited. I do believe that this will be a day that we all remember." - San Antonio Mayor Ron NirenbergUTSA and San Antonio business and political leaders revealed plans Tuesday for expanding the university's downtown campus, with a new School of Data Science, a new National Security Collaboration Center, and a new home for UTSA's College of Business.San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley said "This will be phenomenal for downtown. This will be transformative for the city, because with the addition of 10-thousand students in the downtown area, we'll be able to have many more young people invigorate the downtown area. So this is a great infusion of innovation and youth and education."The plans call for the city to sell two parcels of land to UTSA, and Bexar County to finalize a deal for UTSA to get another.The ten-year plan to add another 10,000 students in the downtown area alone is broken up into two five-year phases.San Antonio businessman and philanthropist Graham Weston is helping jumpstart everything with a $15 million cash gift."UTSA is building the brainpower of our city right now. It deserves our support. I'm very glad to be doing it."Weston, who co-founded Rackspace, said the investment in UTSA will help prevent a 'brain drain' of San Antonio's own best and brightest high school graduates, who might be lured to other universities outside the area.He also said the expansion will help attract new companies to San Antonio and keep them here."Facebook, google, Amazon, all these companies, couldn't run without data scientists, people who study large quantitites of data and try to make sense of them. The School of Data Science at UTSA is going to be one of the leading institutions in the world."The University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved $70 million from the state's Permanent University Fund (PUF) for the School of Data Science and the National Security Collaboration Center. UTSA officials say Weston's $15 million gift and another $5 million in university funds will pay for construction on those two projects to move forward.San Antonio already has a head-start on cyber-security, with a number of firms here created by former Air Force experts.For more information, click here.Let us know what you think of the plans on our News 4 San Antonio facebook page, click https://www.facebook.com/News4SA.For Randy Beamer's facebook page, click https://www.facebook.com/randy.beamer.For Randy Beamer's twitter page, click https://twitter.com/randybeamer
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