San Antonio Independent School District trustees voted Tuesday night to lease the district's unused athletic fields at Fox Tech to the University of the Incarnate Word.
The site at Quincy and North Flores will serve as the home for UIW’s new osteopathic medical school.
“It's a perfect partnership to allow young students to see the possibility that they could become doctors, and serve this region and this city,” said UIW Chancellor Dr. Denise Doyle.
The city and county have already provided approximately $10 million for construction and infrastructure improvements.
With the SAISD vote completed, the last hurdle will be to raise an estimated $25 to $50 million in private funding.
The lease agreement is for 25 years and UIW has the option to extend it for another 25 years.
After 50 years, SAISD gets the building back with the option of selling, using, or leasing it to a new tenant or reaching a new agreement with UIW.
"I'm almost certain if we put everything we can into that medical school and everything it will cost to build that medical school that we will want to continue that (partnership) as long as possible," said Doyle.
The school will be only the second osteopathic medical school in Texas.
Doyle said osteopathic medicine, which focuses on treating the entire person instead of specific injuries or ailments, is more in line with UIW’s mission, compared to traditional research-based institutions.
The agreement will benefit SAISD teachers and students in the district’s health professions magnet programs through millions of dollars in study grants, and training
Hector Flores oversees the magnet program at Edison High School and said students were buzzing about the deal.
“These students now have a unique opportunity to be engaged in a highly rigorous program designed to prepare them for post-secondary education, to pursue a post-secondary degree, and employment opportunities," he said.
The lease starts on Jan. 1, 2015.
The university hopes to open the medical school in 2016.