New SAC Science Building Opens in Time for Summer Classes

May 18, 2023

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communications

Science students are entering a new era at San Antonio College with the opening of a state-of-the-art laboratory building this month.

science building exterior 1.jpgThe new SAC Science Building includes seven flexible classrooms that also serve as advanced lab space for subjects including microbiology, anatomy, physiology, and general biology.

The 19,000-square-foot facility also includes multipurpose areas for teaching and studying and an outdoor learning courtyard.

It’s a necessary addition to the science offerings at SAC, especially since science labs were being housed temporarily in portable structures, said Gerald Dove, Coordinator of College Risk Management at SAC.

“Our existing labs didn’t offer the full capabilities we needed as we expand into the future,” Dove said. “All the sciences will use the space at some point.”

The building officially opens in time for SAC’s summer semester.

Inside the front door, an open area provides natural light and space for studying and teaching, with a whiteboard and projection capabilities. In addition to seating at tables and bar-height counters, there are also upholstered chairs with study desks.  

Each of the seven classrooms serves as an advanced laboratory, with ergonomic chairs and gas access at each student work station, hood vents, coolers and emergency showers. Extremely durable flooring stands up to any spills or water. Each lab includes two ADA-accessible stations.

science building interior 2.jpgEach room contains a variety of new three-dimensional human anatomical models.

The building incorporates technology to allow for flexibility. Cameras in the ceiling allow students to attend class remotely if necessary. Instructors can also teach remotely when needed. Two 85” TV screens mounted in the front of each room provide easy viewing for students wherever they’re seated. 

A user-friendly design includes a prep area directly outside each classroom so instructors can easily transport supplies to student work areas.

Outside, the building features a covered learning courtyard, complete with a whiteboard wall, tables and chairs (including ADA-accessible spaces), electrical outlets and projection capabilities.

A shaded, landscaped courtyard in front of the building offers picnic tables and space to relax outdoors, including hammocks, which were added based on student suggestions. 

science building interior 1.jpg The new $15.6 million building stands on the site of a former parking lot between the Nursing & Allied Health Complex and N. Main Avenue. While the new construction eliminated 100 parking spots, the campus has gained a total of 493 new spaces with the construction of the new five-level Parking Garage 3 on the west side of campus, which opened in 2021.

The building is part of SAC’s Campus Revitalization Project, which includes a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Bexar County voters approved a general obligation bond in 2017 that awarded $83 million to San Antonio College for improvements to existing facilities and the addition of new ones.