College recommends naming center for owners of La Prensa.
By M.J. Callahan
The Alamo Colleges board of trustees will decide Tuesday whether to approve a 7,000-square-foot rental space at a cost of $88,340 annually for a welcome center in Phase 2 of Tobin Lofts of Main Avenue and West Park Avenue.
The board also will be asked to approve naming the space Tino and Millie Duran Welcome Center to honor the owners of La Prensa, the only independent family owned bilingual newspaper in San Antonio.
Both items are on the agenda for the board’s regular monthly meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in Killen Center at 201 W. Sheridan St.
The purpose of the center is to help incoming students, who often do not know where to begin the process. Instead of being bounced from admissions and records to the business office and counseling center to get started, students will get direction at the welcome center after it opens in mid-September, Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of academic and student success and incoming president of this college, said July 17.
The center will be rolled out in two phases. The first is the student area with the latest technology from Apple and a waiting area with iPads. To assist families, the center will have private rooms with a screen projecting information rather than expecting individuals to crowd around a computer screen, he said. An orientation lab will have about 10 computer stations. An interactive screen with maps at the entrance will give new students an overview of the campus.
The second phase, which is still under negotiation, will be a tech store selling and servicing Apple products.
College Council voted unanimously July 8 to name the center for the Durans, former students and long-time supporters of this college. Tino Duran was named an Outstanding Former Student in 1997.
“I anticipate the board will give it their full approval. They do so much for the Alamo Colleges,” Vela said. “They just give and give and give scholarship and internship opportunities. They do so much for us.”
Every month they give a $500 scholarship to the Alamo Community College District for a student selected by one of the colleges.
Millie Duran said in a phone interview, “This would be a great honor. We both went to this college. We are proud of SAC.”
When she talks to young people, she encourages them to try the Alamo Community College district. Going higher in one’s education is easier then some think and a good place to start is at on of the community colleges, she said.
“They love SAC and we love them so we thought it would be a perfect honor to honor this space after them,” Vela said.
Every future student and current student to come through this college will see their name that is going to be the college’s front door and the students will ask who are they if they don’t already know, Vela said.
He would like to see a video about their lives and their contributions to education.