PAC breaks ground on bond-funded education and training center

February 10, 2021

Marketing and Strategic Communications

Alamo Colleges District-Palo Alto College hosted a groundbreaking for its new bond-funded Southside Education and Training Center (SETC) – the latest addition in the Alamo Colleges Higher Education Regional Center network, designed to increase access to higher education services for residents of underserved sectors of Bexar County.

Projected to open Spring 2023, the SETC will be funded through a 2017 voter-approved bond for the Alamo Colleges District and will be built on land provided by Southside ISD off of 281 and Losoya Martinez Rd.

“Since Palo Alto College was established more than 35 years ago, we have held true to our core value of providing educational access to all members of the community. Through this commitment, we have collaborated with school districts and local businesses to create partnerships that directly support our students and their families,” said Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College.

“The Alamo Colleges SETC is a game-changer for the South Side. It becomes part of San Antonio’s economic engine, preparing students for high-demand jobs. It will also provide valuable and much-needed community resources,” said Southside ISD Superintendent of Schools Rolando Ramirez.

As part of an overall commitment to data-informed decision making, Palo Alto College conducted listening sessions in the Summer of 2019 with local residents. The response showed that the surrounding community wanted internet and computer access, training in high-demand occupations, and a place for community engagement. The collected feedback went into the development and design of the center.

“The addition of the Southside Education and Training Center for the residents of south Bexar County and surrounding counties is integral to our mission to empower our diverse communities for success,” said Dr. Mike Flores, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District. “Expanding access to educational programs and resources is always our focus, as we know access to education is a path to enhancing social and economic mobility.”

Upon completion, SETC will offer programs such as Adult Basic Education and Literacy, including High School Equivalency and English as a Second Language, and Allied Health and Nursing. The structure will also feature a bibliotech, testing assessment center, computer labs, skills and simulation labs, general classrooms, workspaces, a conference room, and a multipurpose space for small and large gatherings.

Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo Colleges District, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is a Rising Star winner of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, and is celebrating its 35-year anniversary. 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

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