The Denominator: San Antonio’s Hunger for Public Art, Old Buildings, and High-Speed Internet

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A marching band walks past the Torch of Friendship.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A marching band walks past the Torch of Friendship at East Commerce and South Alamo streets.

San Antonio Hungry for Public Art

91 percent of San Antonio residents would like to see more public art in the city, according to a Department of Arts and Culture survey of more than 3,000 participants. Funding for public art projects amounts to 1 percent of the budget for each municipal bond improvement project.

The City’s Department of Arts and Culture is seeking input on San Antonio’s future of public art through ¿Que Pasa?, a series of neighborhood meetings through July 25th.

A Century Building for This Century

1971 is the year the Century Building was built on San Antonio’s North Side near U.S. Highway 281 and Loop 410. The 187,000-square-foot building was considered a cutting-edge structure when it was built and has been appraised at $11,968,916, according to the Bexar County Appraisal District.

With a new owner, the building may see new life. Plans for the building’s renovation include new office, retail, and restaurant space, but the new owner declined to estimate how much it would spend. The Century building currently houses office space, including tenants California-based Molina Healthcare and grocery manufacturer Kraft Foods.

Immigrant Children Awaiting Reunification

2,000 or more children aged 5 and older remain separated from their parents, federal officials say. A court mandate set a July 26 deadline for those children to be reunified.

The federal government said last week it has reunited 57 immigrant children under the age of 5 who had been separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Those children represent more than half of the 103 juveniles who were separated from their parents in a court case the American Civil Liberties Union filed against the federal government.

Ortiz Jones Receives Strong Out-of-State Support

80 percent of all the donations Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones received from individuals came from out of state, Federal Election Commission data shows.

Ortiz Jones will challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. William Hurd in the November elections for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District seat.

Of the total $1.2 million Ortiz Jones raised, nearly $1 million came from individual donors, most of which were out of state, according to the FEC data. The candidate raised more than $800,000 in out-of-state contributions.

UTSA Plans Higher than High-Speed Internet

$500,000 is the price tag of the latest upgrade to the University of Texas at San Antonio’s high-technology research internet network.

UTSA was awarded a National Science Foundation grant last week to build a dedicated high-speed internet network known as a science DMZ, which is a special network that allows for the movement of massive amounts of data.

UTSA’s researchers in areas such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and real-time computing will have access to internet speeds five to 10 times faster than the current network.

You can find more stories with data in the Data & Society section of the Rivard Report, or download the data behind our stories here.

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