Texas A&M-San Antonio bill headed to the governor
The Texas House on Wednesday gave final passage to a Senate bill that clears the way for construction to begin on the Texas A&M-San Antonio campus.
"A decade of effort to get this accomplished has finally paid off, and we are on our way," said Sen. Carlos Uresti, who co-sponsored Senate Bill 629 with Sen. Royce West. "The governor's signature is all that's needed for construction to begin. This long-awaited dream for the South Side could soon become a reality."
"After years of effort by so many leaders, the fruits of all our labors are finally at hand," said state Rep. Joe Farias, who sponsored the bill in the House. "By building this university now, during these tough economic times, we will bring jobs, education and countless opportunities to the South Side and South Texas."
The bill, supported by the entire Bexar delegation, modifies enrollment requirements for obtaining tuition revenue bonds, freeing up $40 million in bonds and allowing construction of the campus to proceed. The Texas A&M University Kingsville-System Center-San Antonio already has 1,035 full-time students in temporary facilities that are bursting at the seams.
TAMUK-SA currently offers 24 undergraduate degree programs, 16 graduate degrees, including an MBA, and an alternative teacher's certification program. Student growth has expanded rapidly, growing by 65 percent since last spring, and more students are on the way.
The city of San Antonio has committed $15 million for campus infrastructure, and ground has been broken for a road - University Way. Uresti and Farias are also seeking an additional $6.2 million in operating funds for the campus.
Carlos Uresti is the senator from State Senate District 19 representing over 750,000 residents throughout a 23 county area stretching along the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Antonio to El Paso County, including all or part of the following: Bandera, Bexar, Brewster, Culberson, Crockett, El Paso, Edwards, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties. Covering 55,000 square miles, the district contains 62 school districts and spans two time zones.