As they expanded their reach to serve the city, Alamo Colleges wanted a new campus to reach potential students on the northeast side of San Antonio. Overland provided a master plan and nine new buildings for the brand new campus, anticipating rapid growth in keeping with the growing demand for community colleges.
Elected leaders at every level of government have called attention to the growing role of community colleges in the educational landscape of America. Vice President Joe Biden called them pathways to the middle class, and others have pointed out that America’s future depends on increasing its supply of highly skilled workers. Community colleges like Alamo Colleges in San Antonio are the key to connecting high school graduate to target regional industries, meanwhile preparing others for a continued academic career.
Alamo Colleges experienced a renaissance in the late 2000s. Partnerships with local businesses allowed them to tailor their offerings to San Antonio’s growing job market, and enrollment increased significantly. To accommodate this and anticipated future growth, the system produced a bond to fund the creation of a new campus and enhancements to older colleges. Overland came to the table with a master plan that would not only make the most of the bond money but also provide a campus that honored the growing prominence of the Alamo Colleges.
Overland arranged the site to maximize views of the small lake on the 257-acre campus. The goal was to create an environment that felt distinctly academic and yet invitingly humane. A large central plaza provides ample space for students to congregate and connect, a huge asset for a commuter campus. Looking over the plaza, a clock tower marks the time and gives the grounds a stately, institutional marker.
Overland also designed nine new buildings including a performing arts center, wellness center, library, student commons and services center, and multiple academic buildings. Believing that the quality of the environment contributes to the quality of the work produced within, Overland’s goal was to bring the same standards to this community college as they would to a Tier One university. They approached the aesthetic and technological needs with great attention to detail, meanwhile working with another firm, Ford, Powell, and Carson. The spirit of collaboration allowed the two firms to synthesize their approaches for the good of the project, and the results testify to that success. Northeast Lakeview’s value to the city and surrounding counties will show as facilities continue to accommodate growth in population and programming.