New Westside Center Brings More Programs & Services to the Community

April 29, 2021

Kay Hendricks

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The Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees, Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores and Northwest Vista College (NVC) joined Westside community leaders and community partners to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new building for the existing Westside Education and Training Center (WETC) on Thursday, April 29.

Located in the heart of Edgewood Independent School District, the WETC was opened to provide education and services to the West Side community almost 15 years ago. The new multi-use building, which will nearly double the size of the center, will be capable of supporting an early college high school, plus college technical and academic programs and services for the community. The state-of-the-art facility was designed with flexibility in mind for future Smart Growth.

“The WETC, which has served the westside since 2006, and our other centers like it on the east and south sides, play a key role in our efforts to provide access to college programs and services so that more of our residents can earn a degree or certificate, or train for a high-wage, high-demand job, said Alamo Colleges’ Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. “All of these accomplishments provide them with the economic and social mobility that provides a better life for themselves and their families, which in turn contributes to the economic prosperity of our community,” he added.

wetcgroundbreaking932x621.png“The new WETC will double the size of the current facility and allow for even greater community impact,” said Northwest Vista College President Dr. Ric Baser. “The goal is to expand access to education and training for residents living on the West Side of San Antonio.”

With funds available from the district’s 2017 bond issue, the current 31,000-square-foot building will be replaced by a completely new 46,000-square-foot facility on an eight-acre site, constructed with the opportunity for Smart Growth to accommodate future needs.

The WETC opened in 2006 and in its first year enrolled 1,347 students - three times more than its target. Northwest Vista College’s Community Health Worker and Advanced Water Science programs have been at the location since its opening. Currently, students can earn an associate of applied science and certificates in either program. Alamo Colleges’ IBEST program plus GED and ESL classes also are offered at the WETC and it features a computer lab open to the community.

Current programs will continue to be offered at the new WETC. These include Health Professions Opportunity Grant health worker training, Alamo Colleges IBEST program, Northwest Vista College’s Community Health Worker and Water Resource Science programs, Region 20 ESL and GED programs, Edgewood ISD GED testing and offices for Family Service, Westside Development Corporation, La Printeria and La Prensa.

The new WETC will add NVC’s nanotechnology program, plus labs for science classes and core courses. The new facility also will add a community computer lab, indoor/outdoor meeting and seating space, a community garden and indoor and outdoor art display space.

Northwest Vista College, located in far Northwest San Antonio, is the closest Alamo Colleges’ college to WETC. Northwest Vista College is the third largest college in San Antonio with an 18,542 fall 2020 enrollment. Many students who take classes at WETC also continue on and take additional classes at NVC or one of the other four colleges in the Alamo Colleges District.