As part of a semester-long project, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Architecture students envisioned a new look for AVANCE’s National Headquarters. Through a partnership with the Westside Development Corporation, AVANCE provided a real‐world professional experience for students to reimagine an area plagued by blight and neglect into a source for community recovery and growth.
The students created building plans and scale models of an AVANCE National Training Institute to be located adjacent to the AVANCE National Headquarters near the UTSA downtown campus. They presented their final designs, including a master plan transforming the entire block into a state‐of‐the‐art campus for early childhood and parenting education and training, to AVANCE administrators as well as a group of local civic leaders and architects on Dec. 11.
For most of the class, this was their first experience both working with actual clients and presenting to professionals in their chosen field.
“It’s really nice to see their points and how they view (the design). It’s nice to see their reactions — especially when they like it,” said architecture student Amanda Bugyi.
AVANCE recently purchased a long vacant building on their lot at 908 W. Houston, which will be their second major building restoration in the Cattleman’s Square Historic District in the last ten years. The plan is to transform a building that is currently an eyesore into a functional community resource beneficial to both AVANCE and the larger San Antonio community.
“We now have something tangible to illustrate to possible donors the potential of this area,” said AVANCE President and CEO Rick Noreiga.