Campus construction affects traffic, parking

CHRISTIAN CASTILLO/LOGOS STAFF

By Christian Castillo

LOGOS STAFF WRITER

Large cranes, hard hats and orange cones are taking over the University of the Incarnate Word as the ever-evolving campus and surrounding community makes way for new additions and renovations.

Construction began June 1 of an additional floor for office space to Agnese/Sosa Living/Learning Center. The renovation will serve the growing faculty of H-E-B School of Business and Administration.

“There’s going to be 27 new faculty offices and one conference room,” said Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr., UIW’s president. “It’s 330-square-feet per faculty member. It’s going to be a nice size. Every office will have two windows and two faculty members share every office. So each office is actually 660 square feet.”

The university’s capital improvement budget funded the addition to Agnese/Sosa Living/Learning Center, the president said. At the end of each year, the university’s excess revenues are placed into the budget as a part of the continuous improvement with the facilities on campus. The cost of this improvement is approximately $1.2 million.

The newly renovated building should be ready by Labor Day. Agnese said the offices will be accessible through the elevator and the additional stairs will be the fire exit.

“There are two sides to that elevator,” Agnese said. “One side will open up to the deck that will lead to the offices and one side leads to mine.”

On Aug. 1, ground broke for the new residence hall adjacent to Joeris Hall. The project’s completion date is July 30 of next year. Structurally similar to Hillside, this dormitory will consist of two levels of parking and three levels of dorms.

Additional construction seen alongside East Hildebrand Avenue is directly related to the new residence hall. Improvements made by CPS Energy to the university’s power supply include the replacement of old poles and electrical wires.

Furthermore, the city of San Antonio plans to expand East Hildebrand, correcting the drainage issue in an 18-month project scheduled Oct. 1.

“Now the other construction that you see on the other side of campus is in between the baseball field and the softball field,” said Agnese, “That is where we’re building the new ceramics and sculpture studio. That’s a 7,000-square-feet facility.”

Due to the hazard posed by the kilns in Genevieve Tarleton Dougherty Fine Arts Building, the ceramics program had been discontinued some years ago. However, the completion of the studio and new kilns will mark the beginning of a brand-new ceramics and sculpture program. The studio is expected to be finished and available to students as early as Nov. 1.

“Dec. 1, just so you know, construction will start on the new music building,” Agnese said. “An 18-month project, the building itself is 33,000 square feet, 11,000 per floor. Also the Fine Arts Building and the Fine Arts Auditorium will be completely gutted and reconstructed at the same time.”

Off the main campus, UIW is building a fencing and sports center at St. Anthony Catholic High School and is opening a center to house the School of Physical Therapy and Extended Academic Program space in northwest San Antonio.

For on-campus construction related to parking and traffic issues, UIW is keeping its community up to date by posting construction alerts at www.facebook.com/uiwcardinals

To address the inevitable congestion of parking while construction continues into the fall, UIW is leasing parking spaces off campus to full-time staff and administrators and providing shuttle pickups.

Senior Jessica Tijerina said she is surprised by all the construction on campus but glad to see Agnese is sticking to his word by expanding the university.

“Although the inconvenience puts pedestrians at risk for danger, it is about time that they expand Hildebrand,” Tijerina said.

 

Leave a Reply