PAC breaks ground on new outdoor classroom, amphitheater

May 10, 2022

Marketing and Strategic Communications

Alamo Colleges District-Palo Alto College hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of its outdoor classroom and amphitheater, a first-of-its-kind space for the campus and the southside community. With a target completion of Fall 2022, the new development will be funded by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). It will serve as a small outdoor classroom and theater while providing an inclusive space where students can meet, relax, and learn.

At the height of the pandemic, we learned that wearing masks, creating social distance between peers, and spending time outdoors would help slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, Palo Alto College leadership reimagined the new development to allow students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to continue learning and teaching in a safe, outdoor environment.

The innovative space will add over an acre of outdoor creativity and will be utilized to host choir, jazz concerts, and theater performances. Additionally, the outdoor classroom and amphitheater will have five sculptural pads where students will have the opportunity to have their art on display.

“The new outdoor classroom and amphitheater will give us the opportunity to keep enhancing our performing arts program not just for our students but the southside community,” said Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College. “As part of our Educate South movement, this area will provide another unique way for people to step foot on a college campus while enjoying one of the only amphitheaters on this side of 410.”

For more than five years, Palo Alto College’s Fine and Performing Arts program has revamped its theater program with the objective of making it into something that matters to the college, its students, and the surrounding community. Teatro Palo Alto pays homage to the southside and caters to the community it serves. Programming for an outdoor fall performance is in development.

Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo Colleges District, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and a recipient of the 2015 Texas Award for Performance Excellence, a finalist for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and a Rising Star winner of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. With over 10,000 students, Palo Alto College is accredited to offer associate degrees and short-term certificates. The College is located on the south side of San Antonio at 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. at I-410 and Texas Hwy 16 and online at alamo.edu/pac.

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