San Antonio has one of the nation’s largest active and retired military populations. When the president of San Antonio College was approached by a student struggling to return to civilian life, he decided to have a dedicated space for veterans who wished to take advantage of being with their peers. The space very quickly filled to capacity. So, Alamo Colleges developed a new building complex to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for veterans and military personnel.
Designed as a two-level, 20,000 SF facility, the Victory Center is intended to function as the new main campus entrance, bringing veteran assistance to the forefront. The facility was constructed to complement existing campus facilities with a red brick and stucco façade and ample windows to provide natural light. Fitting to its position at the front door of the campus, the entrance features a two-story, glass-front atrium and prominent signage to welcome visitors.
The first floor entry features a circular staircase surrounded by polished concrete, touch-screen interactive directories, a coffee bar, and seating for students awaiting assistance from administrative personnel. The entire floor is dedicated to support services including a career center, conference rooms, mentorship and tutoring spaces, and administrative offices with support spaces.
The second floor features an elevated walkway open to the atrium, that leads to a study lounge, private or open study rooms, and classrooms with operable partitions, glass projection screens, and state-of-the art retractable projectors. The facility utilizes energy-efficient LED lighting and is furnished with custom wall systems which allow the user to easily reconfigure the layout by disassembling the system and relocating it elsewhere in the building.
The center provides necessary services such as financial aid, enrollment/registration assistance, job training, targeted academic advising, VA and Hazlewood certification, and mental health support to the growing population of San Antonio veterans.