San Antonio City Council on Thursday will approve the years-old dream of the University of the Incarnate Word, and will open the way for UIV to build a medical school on the now unused practice fields at Fox Tech High School downtown, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"This is basically going to create a second Medical Center for the city of San Antonio," veteran UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese told 1200 WOAI news.
The University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine will be built on the 3 acres of fields northwest of Fox Tech High School, which no longer has athletic programs.
According to an agreement approved by the San Antonio ISD Board last month, the agreement includes a cash payment of $1.5 million to SAISD over a two year period, to enhance the expansion of SAISD's health careers programs at Fox Tech and Edison High Schools, as well as annual scholarships to SAISD students to attend UTW, and an endowment of $100,000 annually for SAISD students.
A 25 year lease for the property has been approved by the school board.
Agnese said the medical school will be a major economic generator for downtown.
"You are bringing 500 medical students downtown, you are bringing fifty full time faculty members downtown, another 20 professional staff, you have 200 part time faculty members, they have to live somewhere, they have to eat somewhere," he said.
Plans are for the medical school building to be constructed and the first class enrolled by the fall of 2016.
"Texas has 159 counties that have limited primary care doctors," Agnese said. "The reason why it is an osteopathic school is we want to focus on primary and family care."
He says the medical students will also work at the six hospitals downtown, improving the health care and access to physicians available downtown, and to residents of the west and south sides of the city.
"It is ideal for everyone, especially for downtown development, which is what we are looking for," Agnese said. "We need not just more hotels, but more resident capabilities downtown."
He says a 120,000 square foot building as well as a parking garage for 600 cars will be located on the property, which he says will also sprout medical offices and other support activities in the area.