Groundbreaking Held for $90M Texas School of Data Science

By Lisa Kopochinski

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held for the $90 million School of Data Science (SDS) and National Security Collaboration Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

The 167,000-square-foot, six-story structure advances UTSA’s vision to earn national recognition as a research-intensive institution and bolsters San Antonio’s national standing as Cyber City USA.

“For more than 20 years UTSA has been a pioneer in cybersecurity and also now offers best-in-class programs in data science, cyber manufacturing, cloud computing and artificial intelligence,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, in a statement.

“This new transdisciplinary building, which is deeply connected to the economic well-being of San Antonio and will house the first School of Data Science in Texas, will enable UTSA to prepare students for the high-tech jobs of the future and to grow its ecosystem of government, industry and academic partners tackling society’s grand security challenges.”

The SDS will include approximately 86,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory and research space for the 6,500 data science students who are expected to take classes there by 2022.

UTSA’s 70-plus faculty members in cybersecurity, cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence will be located there, enabling more frequent collaborations with government, industry, and community partners in San Antonio.

“There is no other place that has built an ecosystem combining the community’s business strengths and research expertise in data science, information management and cybersecurity like our ecosystem here in San Antonio,” said Eighmy.

Construction on this building is funded with $75 million from the University of Texas System Permanent University Fund, and a $15 million gift from San Antonio business leader Graham Weston.

“The UTSA School of Data Science will be at the heart of the thrust of new innovation over the coming decades,” said Weston, in a statement.

“This is going to change the face of what UTSA is, and my prediction is UTSA is going to be famous around the country and the world in data science and cybersecurity.”

Whiting-Turner | Jacobs | Overland designed and will construct the building. In December, Whiting-Turner began removing the parking lot at the property, which UTSA purchased from the City of San Antonio.

The center will house a ground-level café, in addition to a large, multipurpose, public event space for students and tenants.

Construction is expected to be completed by July 2022.