News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2009
CONTACT: Tomas Larralde at 512-463-0119

Senator Uresti Files Bill Allowing Texas A&M-San Antonio to Start Breaking-Ground

Sen. Carlos Uresti

San Antonio, TX — Today, Senator Carlos I. Uresti filed SB 607 to allow Texas A&M San Antonio to jump start the new TAMU- San Antonio Campus. The bill would change the number of students required to activate the $40 million funding (known as Tuition Revenue Bonds) for the university's construction. In 2003, the university was created through the efforts of the late-Senator Frank Madla; however, the funding for the construction was not passed until 2006 and was contingent upon meeting certain enrollment thresholds. The new bill would set a new threshold and would allow A&M San Antonio to meet its goal to have a campus in place by 2010. The City and local community have been supporting the A&M effort through infrastructure support and the donation of property for a 700-acre campus site located at South Loop 410, Zarzamora and Mauermann Roads. This new campus will meet the growing demands for Higher Education in San Antonio and throughout the region.

Senator Uresti stated that "my constituents have demanded access to the top quality research and educational opportunities that A&M has to offer. The economic impact of the A&M San Antonio campus will allow San Antonio to not only weather the tough economic times but will propel it toward prosperity.

Texas A&M San Antonio

In 2007, Senator Uresti created a task force to find ways to stimulate enrollment. As a result of the Task Force's efforts and numerous community leaders in Fall 2007/Fall 2008 A&M San Antonio saw a nearly 50% increase in student enrollment. In addition, new numbers from Spring 2008/Spring 2009 show an astonishing increase of 63% bringing the total student headcount to date to 1,673 which equates to 1,052 full-time equivalent (FTE’s). Given the threshold of the new legislation, A&M San Antonio would automatically qualify for construction funding.

"With the investment of our community and political leaders, we are sure that the first brick will serve as a foundation that will be strong enough to support a tower of economic progress and academic success."

Today, Texas A&M University Kingsville–System Center-San Antonio offers 19 undergraduate degree plans, 8 graduate degree programs, including an MBA and an alternative teacher’s certification program. Now located in the temporary campus provided by South San Antonio Independent School District at 1450 Gillette, the new construction will allow the University to accommodate more students and more programs.

"This campus will contribute to strengthening our educated workforce and continue to make San Antonio a destination for future development," continued Senator Uresti.

Senator Uresti represents Senate District 19, a 55,000 square mile area extending from the city of San Antonio in Bexar County to the Lower Valley of El Paso County. The largest legislative district in the nation, it spans two time zones, and contains nine of the 14 border counties in Texas, two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico border within Texas, and all or part of 23 counties. Senate District 19 is home to five U.S. ports of entry, three U.S. toll bridges, 62 school districts, seven military sites, six state parks, and two national parks.

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