Alamo Colleges District Breaks Ground for New Administration Building
Community members joined local officials and Alamo Colleges District administrators and employees to celebrate the groundbreaking for the district’s new administration building on a 12.5-acre site at 2222 N. Alamo Street, just off Broadway next to Ft. Sam Houston. Speaking at the event were County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Yvonne Katz, Trustee Joe Alderete, Jr., Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie, Citizen’s Advisory Committee Chair Gloria Ray and District Staff Council President Amita Mahajan.
“We are pleased that this new complex will not only provide a safe, comfortable and well-designed space to optimize our District Support Operations’ employees’ performance, but also add an attractive, environmentally conscious facility that will be an asset to the community as well,” said Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie.
The new complex was designed by Ford, Powell & Carson Architects and Planners, teaming with West East Design Group for architectural and engineering services for the District Support Operations (DSO) Administration Complex. Skanska USA Building, Inc. was awarded the contract for construction manager-at-risk services. The Board approved the concept rendering and master plan for the building In August 2016 and approved the schematic design in November 2016. The city’s Historic and Design Review Commission granted conceptual approval for the design in December 2016. Completion of the building is projected for July 2018.
It will feature design elements reflecting its history as the location of Playland Park, which operated at the site from 1943 until 1980 and featured the “Rocket” all wooden roller coaster. The project is designed with environmental preservation and conservation in mind, including efforts to preserve the pecan grove and the historic acequia on the property.
The new facility will allow the Alamo Colleges District to house all 465 DSO employees at one location, increasing operational efficiency. DSO employees currently work at two sites downtown, as well as one in the northeast part of the city and in portable buildings at several of the colleges and several of the current DSO buildings are in need of expensive repair and rebuilding. Over the past 10 years, the District has invested $802 million in the colleges, but only $2.4 million or 0.3% in the district facilities. Deferred maintenance of DSO buildings, due to prioritization of expending limited funds on the colleges, has caused many workplace hazards. DSO employees provide essential services to the five Alamo Colleges and their students.