SAN ANTONIO – The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) has selected Brooks City Base as the site of its new School of Osteopathic Medicine. UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese and Brooks City Base President & CEO Leo Gomez formalized the partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding Tuesday, following a meeting of the Brooks City Base Board of Directors where the terms of the agreement were approved.
The selected campus is located in the northwest corner of the Brooks City Base campus in an area known as “The Hill,” a registered historic district which previously housed the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. The proposed Phase I plan provides three-and-a-half buildings and 585 parking spaces on approximately 16.13 acres. UIW also has an expansion option known as Phase II that would add the adjacent 7.52 acres, three-and-a-half more buildings and additional parking. The entire plan involves 23.65 acres and seven buildings with classrooms, laboratories, administrative and faculty offices, a student center, and an auditorium.
“This is an historic day not just for Incarnate Word and Brooks, but really, San Antonio and Texas,” said UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese. “About half of the counties in Texas have insufficient numbers of primary care physicians. One of the goals of our medical school will be to increase the number of primary care doctors practicing in underserved areas.
“Brooks has the space and resources to allow us to develop a state-of-the-art facility that will allow UIW to fulfill the healthcare mission of our founders, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.”
Brooks City Base was established nearly 100 years ago and played a critical role in the development of the United States aviation and aerospace programs. The U.S. Air Force left in 2011 and Brooks City Base is being successfully redeveloped into a thriving, mixed-use community that has been a catalyst for growth in San Antonio. More than 26 businesses have located at Brooks including the new Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, DPT Laboratories, Mission Solar, Calumet, and Carenet Healthcare Services. Brooks is also home to a growing residential community that includes a luxury apartment community and single-family homes and to the Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering, a STEM-accredited charter school serving grades K – 12.
“We are thrilled to welcome UIW and look forward to bringing new life to one of the most beautiful and significant spaces on our campus,” said Brooks City Base President & CEO Leo Gomez. “We’ve had great success over the past 10 years bringing businesses here and spurring economic development, just as we were created to do. What you are starting to see now, though, is the growth of a true community where people can live, work, learn and play. We are committed to developing this campus thoughtfully and strategically. We will provide all the amenities and features you would expect in a modern community, but in a way that respects our landscape, our history and our connection to the San Antonio River and historic missions.”
San Antonio District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran said, “This seemed like such a natural fit for UIW, for Brooks and for this entire community and I am so pleased that we’ve been able to reach this point. This campus is one of the most exciting places to be in San Antonio right now. You can truly feel the energy and see the momentum and I can’t wait to see what this partnership will bring to District 3.”
Under the agreement, UIW would lease the buildings from Brooks City Base for a term of 25 years beginning August 1, 2014. UIW will be responsible for financing and construction costs and would be granted ownership of the property at the end of 25 years. The two organizations will now negotiate the details in the final lease agreement with intentions of opening the school in 2016.
Brooks City Base is a community of more than 1,200 acres planned for mixed-use development that includes residential, retail, office, and light industrial opportunities. Since its inception, the community has attracted 26 businesses including Mission Solar, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, DPT Laboratories, Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering, Texas A&M-San Antonio Brooks City Base, VMC, Bridge PTS, Grubb Engineering, the City/County Emergency Operations Center, the Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering Charter School, The Landings at Brooks City Base apartment community, and a variety of restaurants and retail stores. For more information, visit www.brookscity-base.com.