With no discussion, the Historic and Design Review Commission Wednesday unanimously granted conceptual approval to ford, powell & carson for the Alamo Colleges administrative complex design.

Located at 2222 N. Alamo St., the 12.5-acre parcel of land used to be home to the historic Playland Park, which opened in 1943. The amusement park closed in 1980 and the land sat vacant for decades until Alamo Colleges purchased it for $4.1 million in 2008 to construct its headquarters, which will feature subtle design elements reminiscent of the iconic park.

The new design was already approved by the Alamo Colleges board of trustees on Nov. 12, according to Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Operation and Construction Management John Strybos. It features two connected administrative buildings where more than 450 district employees will work, a two-story parking structure along Josephine Street, and two surface parking lots.

Renderings for Alamo Colleges headquarters.
Renderings for Alamo Colleges headquarters. Credit: Courtesy / ford, powell & carson and WestEast Design Group

More than 60% of the property will remain undeveloped. At the request of Alamo Colleges Citizens Advisory Committee members, Alamo Colleges officials, and surrounding residents, the design will preserve a grove of heritage pecan trees on the parcel of land’s northwest corner.

It also will safeguard and highlight the Acequia Madre, the Alamo’s original water source that flows through what is now the Witte Museum, parallel to Broadway Street, and south to the downtown mission. Designers do not anticipate starkly marking the waterway with stones, for example, but they do intend on accentuating it in a more natural way.

Strybos said that the project team will continue to refine its design and present it to the City for final approval sometime in January. Officials anticipate completing the headquarters in the next few years.

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is camillenicgarcia@gmail.com