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No deal: UIW scraps downtown medical school plan

Original plan had UIW leasing site of Fox Tech High School football field

The deal is off.

The University of the Incarnate Word will build a medical school -- but it won't be near Fox Tech High School downtown.

The original plan was for the San Antonio Independent School District to lease the current site of the Fox Tech football field to UIW.

"It gives San Antonio a second medical center downtown to compete with the new medical center that will develop in Austin," UIW President Lou Agnese told KSAT's Steve Spriester in September 2013. "All of this is very important for the future of San Antonio and the future of Incarnate Word."

Agnese at the time said he was confident the proposed $25 million, 120,000-square-foot facility would be built -- but had some reservations.

"Do I think it's all going to come together? Yeah, but it's a worry," Agnes told Spriester. "That's why I wake up at 2:30 in the morning and I think about what I've done and haven't done yet."

A source on Tuesday said he was 99 percent sure the medical school would have been built downtown, but things changed. The source said Agnese couldn't get the corporate donors he needed to make the med school downtown happen, and a location like Brooks City-Base wouldn't be as expensive because of the possibility of using existing buildings and infrastructure.

"UIW has done due diligence to explore the feasibility of building at that downtown location and has recently decided against pursuing this option," the university announced Tuesday in a written statement.

Agnese said in September that if everything were to go as planned, construction would start in June 2015 and students would begin enrolling in August 2016.

According to the statement, the university still intends on a 2016 school opening date and plans to obtain preliminary program accreditation. 

Additionally, the university confirmed that Datapoint Drive, in conjunction with UIW's existing School of Optometry, and Brooks City-Base present viable alternatives to the original Fox Tech site.

Agnese was not available Tuesday for comment on this story.

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