Students at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) recently completed their first semester of instruction and research at the new San Pedro I building. The $91.8 million state-of-the-art facility opened in January and now houses the university’s National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) and the new School of Data Science (SDS).
The university embarked on this ambitious project with the goal of “ushering in a new era of high-tech education, research and innovation in Texas.” But there’s far more to it than that.
San Pedro I
The planning for San Pedro I and the larger strategic vision began last decade. Groundbreaking on the project occurred in Jan. 2021. Construction took just under two years, punctuated by a ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 9. A guest list including UTSA administrators, local politicians, business leaders, and others engaged in a panel discussion on the future of data science and information security and embarked on self-guided tours.
Just over half of the 167,000 square foot facility includes the 84,000 square feet of flexible classroom, laboratory, and research space. The space is organized in a way that encourages collaboration between students and faculty. Plus, the building features four suites and 16 offices for companies that wish to co-locate with the university.
The vast majority of the $91.8 million construction cost came from the University of Texas System Permanent University Fund and the remaining $15 million was gifted by San Antonio businessman Graham Weston. San Pedro I was developed in collaboration with a design-build team led by Whiting-Turner and including Jacobs and Overland Partners. The facility also includes 72,000 square feet of innovation space, research facilities, and laboratories.
One Step in a Larger Plan
This project is the first in UTSA’s phased, decade-long approach to developing its downtown campus with the long-term aim of educating students to become skilled professionals in the fields of national security, data analytics, and data science. The location is key: the six-story structure at 506 Dolorosa Street near San Pedro Creek is located in San Antonio’s booming high-tech corridor. This is but one step in realizing the university’s vision of becoming a nationally recognized research institute, boosting both the school and city’s standing in the cyber world.
Location and Collaboration
San Pedro I is currently home to 400 graduate students, with undergraduates coming in the fall of 2023. The new SDS will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, along with certificate programs and other credential opportunities. Meanwhile, the new facility allows the more than 70 faculty members in the worlds of cybersecurity, cloud computing, data and analytics, and artificial intelligence to work under one roof.
And, of course, they’ll be working in a building that’s conveniently located in a downtown area that provides government, industry, and community partners easy access to the facility. When creating the strategic plan, the university envisioned the school, government, and industry working together with federal agencies, academics, and other industry leaders to solve America’s most -pressing cybersecurity problems.
That collaboration began in the building’s first semester of use, NSCC Executive Director Guy Walsh told Texas Public Radio. The school has already welcomed several government and private industry partners, including the US Department of Energy. In fact, the NSCC was selected as part of the United States Cyber Command Academic Engagement Network, further bolstering the school’s reputation.
At Construction Protection Systems, we’re proud to have played a small part in development of The University of Texas at San Antonio’s National Security Collaboration Center. Stay tuned for more updates from the makers of 1-2-3 Door Shield—the original, reusable door protection system.