June, The University of Texas at San Antonio broke ground on its $95 million Science and Engineering Building (SEB), the largest construction project in university history. The building is slated to open in June 2020.
The 153,000 square foot building, which will be located on the Main Campus adjacent to the Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building, will provide laboratory, classroom and collaborative space for UTSA’s academic and research programs in brain health, chemical engineering, biology and chemistry.
The Science and Engineering Building will house UTSA’s new chemical engineering program, which launches this fall. The bachelor’s program will prepare students for careers in the oil and gas, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, environmental engineering and materials engineering industries.
The building will include a two-story distillation column that will allow chemical engineering students to study different types of mixtures, just as practicing chemical engineers do in industrial facilities. The instrument was made possible by a gift from Bill and Margie Klesse through the Klesse Foundation.
The SEB will also feature 17,000 square feet of engineering makerspace, a dedicated gathering area where people with similar engineering and technology interests can collaborate on projects by sharing ideas, equipment, materials and knowledge. On the first floor, the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship to help faculty members and students take UTSA discoveries, products and services to market.
Summer 2017 saw the start of first phase of the project. UTSA is extending campus utilities, such as sanitary sewer, domestic and fire water service, storm drains and electricity, to the building site. Mass excavation and deep foundation work is the current focus of construction at the site, with pier drilling, initial site concrete and parking lot paving to begin later in the fall.
Before the start of the fall semester next week, several changes will occur near the construction site to improve student, faculty and staff access at the south end of the Main Campus. The Paseo del Sur from the Ford Ave. Lot and Bauerle Road Lot 1 will re-open for pedestrian traffic. Additionally, temporary sidewalks were created along Bauerle Road and between the north end of the construction site and the Arts Building. Nineteen parking spaces in Bauerle Road Lot 1 and twelve spaces in the Ford Avenue Lot will re-open for use by the campus community.
The second, 28-month phase of the SEB project will begin in December and will see much of the substantial construction of the building completed, leading up to the final stage in 2020.