San Antonio City Council today unanimously approved the creation of the University of the Incarnate Word College of Osteopathic Medicine, to be built on the existing sports practice fields just northwest of Fox Tech High School downtown, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The long planned UIW Medical School will admit its first class of 500 future doctors in August of 2016, after the university builds a $50 million, 120,000 square foot campus on the site.
"This will give the City of San Antonio a second Medical Center with the seven hospitals which are located downtown, and I think will be a tremendous opportunity for the future," UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese told council.
The university will also build a parking garage on the site, and Assistant City Manager Carlos Contreras says San Antonio taxpayers are on the hook for $7.7 million.
"For construction of a new road, as well as the extension of a 12 inch water line to the site, and improvements along North Flores," he said.
Agnese and Mayor Julian Castro said the existence of a medical school downtown will fit in with plans to develop downtown as a residential center.
"This is in line with the vision we have for the central city," Castro said.
Agnese said the school will bring 500 medical students, as well as hundreds of professors and support staff together downtown, leading to development of housing united, restaurants, bookstores, and other amenities.
The practice fields, about three acres on the northwest edge of downtown, are currently not being used because Fox Tech is now a magnet school without athletic programs.