SAN ANTONIO — UTSA officially broke ground at the Park West Athletics Complex on Tuesday morning.
UTSA President Ricardo Romo, UTSA Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey, University of Texas System Board of Regents Chairman of the Board William Eugene Powell, District 25 Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, County Commissioner Kevin Wolff, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and City Councilman Reed Williams all attended the groundbreaking along with the UTSA Marching Band and Roadrunners student-athletes.
The complex, which will be constructed in multiple phases,
is located on a portion of the 125-acre UTSA Park West tract
approximately two miles west of the UTSA Main Campus. The first phase, with an expected completion date of Fall 2013, includes a 1,000-seat soccer stadium, 1,000-seat track & field facility, 500-space surface parking lot, roadways, a retention basin and other related infrastructure.
The facilities will be used for public events and serve as home bases for the UTSA sports teams.
Future development of the complex will include tennis, softball and baseball facilities; fan amenities; meeting and hospitality rooms; and expansion to existing facilities.
"The new athletics complex will be a top-notch collegiate facility capable of hosting national and international tourist-destination events," Romo said. "This project is another example of how UTSA is transforming into a Tier One university with growth that we expect to positively impact San Antonio, so it remains competitive globally as a place where people want to visit, invest and do business."
In 2008, Bexar County voters approved a venue tax referendum that included $15 million to help fund the construction of the athletics complex. UTSA officials say a total of $22.1 million in combined bond monies from Bexar County and the City of San Antonio will be used to construct the initial phase of the project.
The complex is being designed by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group with support from San Antonio-based Overland Partners Architects. Bartlett Cocke General Contractors will serve as the construction manager.
Today’s ceremony was made possible by the collaborative efforts of individuals and groups from throughout the San Antonio community.
Beginning in 2003, Bexar County Commissioners Court with encouragement from San Antonio Sports and Dr. Susan Blackwood included $1.5 million in its successful bond election. In 2007, then City Councilman Art Hall and Mayor Phil Hardberger included another $5.25 million in a successful City of San Antonio bond election. A year later, County Commissioner Lyle Larson and Nelson Wolff were the driving forces behind $15 million being included in the successful Bexar County venue tax election.
The purchase of the new 125-acre Park West Campus was approved in 2007 by the UT System Board of Regents with strong support and leadership from then Regent Cyndi Taylor Krier. The UTSA Athletics Initiative Business Plan, including the complex, was authored by Romo, UTSA Vice President for Business Affairs Kerry Kennedy, UTSA Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. John Frederick, UTSA Vice President for Advancement Marjorie French and UTSA Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Gage Paine, and was approved by the Board of Regents in December 2008. The Board of Regents and Powell then approved plans for the first phase earlier this year.
Additional support for utilities and infrastructure to open the Park West Campus has been provided by City Public Services and the San Antonio Water System with the assistance of Castro, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley and Williams. Additional support has come from the Bexar County State Legislative Delegation and Bexar County Venue Tax project oversight head Mike Sculley.
UTSA also would like to thank Bexar County voters, the City of San Antonio and the UTSA student body.