By Joela Avelar
The groundbreaking ceremony of the future Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus was an event of much celebration and expectation.
The ceremony, which was held recently, took place on the frontage Road, in between Zarzamora and Moursund Roads on the south side of Loop 410.
There were many state, local and county elected officials who attended this significant celebration. Delighted members of the community also attended the ceremony which started early in the morning.
This occasion was a very momentous one for the rapidly-growing Southside community. The Alamo City has shown that there is a need for a four-year institution. A student can only go so far at the two-year community colleges that are located in the Southside. The university, which is expected to open in 2011, will provide more academic opportunities and choices for the surrounding area.
Texas A&M-San Antonio can be another option for students looking to achieve a four-year education, but do not want to travel too far or pay too much.
“It’s going to be a quality education, it’s going to be affordable and it’s going to be accessible,” said State Rep. Ruth McClendon (TX-120) about the prospective university. It will be an alternative to the private universities, which some students may not be able to afford.
“It’s not about building a road, but what’s going to be traveling on that road,” said State Rep. Joe Farias about University Way, the gateway road to the coming Texas A&M-San Antonio campus.
Community and city leaders heard the requests and pleas of the people and have stepped up. Now parents have the relief to know that they can provide their children a higher education.
“It will educate and at least give our children choices that they didn’t have before,” said Sen. Carlos Uresti in his ceremony speech.
Texas A&M-San Antonio has been a slow arduous process.
“It didn’t happen overnight, it’s been ten years in the working,” Sen. Uresti explained.
There were a few challenges and the idea of the university did encounter some opposition. “We had to fight [the opposition], it was a pure battle,” State Rep. McClendon added. The Texas Legislature finally authorized the $40 million tuition revenue bonds for the campus, which rely on the enrollment of 1,500 full-time students by 2010.
The determination of those fighting to make this campus possible and the eagerness they have to provide the Southside community with the means to a more successful life has turned a far-reached dream into a reality.