Space Utilization Update

By Office of the President
Friday, 05 13 2016
Message from the President
Space Utilization Update

Dear Members of the University Community: 

It is an excitedly AUDACIOUS time of year for our entire University community. Every member of the University community is racing to the finish line to complete the semester and to ensure the numerous important committees complete their work for the academic year; I would be remiss in attempting to name them all! I am enormously proud of all that you've accomplished this year. It is also an important time for annual celebrations that culminate in our amazing final event-commencement. Alongside the faculty and staff, our students will celebrate their milestone achievement on May 20th. I invite you all to join in the weeklong upcoming festivities: cording, hooding and pinning ceremonies that make this a wonderful University!

This summer is unlike all others as we prepare for the arrival of a new cohort of faculty and staff to join our Jaguar community! One critical action is the final step in space planning and implementation. Under the leadership of Mr. Darrell Morrison there has been conversation with a wide range of constituents to develop an acceptable space solution. Great work has been done to secure a final academic space program for the Science and Technology Building, and with Dr. Mahan's leadership, a new student housing facility will break ground in just a few months. These two facilities are important additions to furthering our movement into a comprehensive 4-year university. 

The Master Planning and Building Programming Committee has met to work on an overall campus Master Plan. The Executive Committee is working with our Space Planning Team to address the short-term institutional needs while the Science and Technology building is being constructed. Within the next 36 months, they are developing a plan to accommodate all new faculty and staff, meet classroom demands and integrate the faculty and staff and instruction that is on Brooks City-Base onto the Main Campus. Though these changes may be temporarily challenging, we are a strong university community that understands this transition will benefit our students and the university as a whole.

For the short term needs, the University proposes a three-phased space solution:

Phase I, which is already underway and will pick up speed immediately after commencement, includes consultation, minor construction and some office relocations to implement space solutions for the new faculty hires. There are specific planning criteria that guide thoughtful and logical decisions to support proposed relocations. Our goal is to ensure disciplinary faculty remain as closely located to each other as possible so collaboration and mentorship of new faculty can be maximized. The Faculty Senate has identified criteria that will be used in faculty office choices, internal configuration and those priorities will be used to the extent possible as well.

I have asked the campus leadership team to reexamine overall building utilization and to define criteria for each of our facilities: Madla, CAB, Patriots' Casa and the Auditorium. Additionally, Mr. Morrison will continue to consult with each of the vice presidents and deans to discuss the draft plan prior to implementation and throughout the process to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Specifically, we envision:

Criteria for locating and movement in the Madla Building:

  1. Primary administrative functions should be from the Division of Student Affairs;
  2. Primary location for the College of Education and Human Development;
  3. Classroom, lab and student space to support the academic and co-curricular program needs.

Criteria for locating and movement in the Central Academic Building:

  1. Primary location for the College of Arts and Sciences;
  2. Future primary location for the College of Business;
  3. Secondary location for student support services and academic support services;
  4. Primary location for administrative services;
  5. Classroom, lab and student space to support academic program needs.

Criteria for locating and movement in the Patriots' Casa:

  1. Administrative and student support functions that support the veteran and military student community;
  2. Academic programs that enhance services and support to the veteran and military student community;
  3. Institutional functions that support student academic success, including the veteran and military student community.

Phase II A - July through September

Continue the broad and inclusive consultation and programming process for moving the functions and personnel at the Brooks City-Base Campus to the Main Campus. Indeed, a few of the faculty at Brooks City-Base may be relocated to the Main Campus at the end of summer and the classes associated with those disciplines moved to classrooms on the Main Campus as well.

Phase II B - Late July - August

We have had the luxury of being space rich on the Main Campus since our time in the new buildings. However, with the overall incoming first-year students, the growing success of our transfer programs and invigoration in our masters programs, our study body demands call for expanding utilization on our classrooms to six days a week. With the increasing prospective students, the needs in the Welcome Center are growing and we will be space challenged beginning this fall. To meet space needs, primarily for office space and administrative needs, we will likely acquire temporary modular facilities, cited behind the CAB. These temporary solutions will give us additional flexibility to house the new faculty and Brooks City-Base faculty in the Main Campus buildings. This does not mean that some faculty groups currently on the Main Campus will not be relocated to the portables temporarily, especially if they are slated to move into the new buildings in the near future. 

We will also consult with the Alamo Colleges and other prospective partners for solutions for temporary specialty space needs, like the gymnasium, needed for our curriculum requirements.

Phase III A - September - November

We will continue to plan for relocation from Brooks City-Base to the Main Campus. If everything goes as planned, it may be possible to relocate the Brooks City-Base programs and personnel to the Main Campus earlier than summer 2017 as originally conceived, even as soon as January 2017, but that will need to be examined more closely as the planning proceeds.

This is an exceptionally busy time of year and there is great buzz in our community about A&M-SA. The campus will forever be a better place because of your voices and the caring attitude that you each have for our great University! I am committed to ensuring that you have a voice in the space process and that we communicate all that is afoot. It is a momentous time to be a member of the Texas A&M-San Antonio community-I sincerely thank you for your outstanding efforts and support of our growing University. I look forward to seeing all of you on May 20 at our commencement!


Warm Regards,

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson