Breaking News
More () »

Northwest Vista College breaks ground on veterans center

The center will give veterans a place to connect and get specialized services as they begin their college journey.

SAN ANTONIO — Northwest Vista College held a groundbreaking for their new Veteran Student Center on Thursday. The facility is designed to provide a number of services, and a place of comradery, as veterans begin their college journey. 

Texas Senator José Menéndez attended the groundbreaking Thursday morning. Menéndez helped secure $6 million for the new center according to a release from the college. 

Northwest Vista serves more than 2000 veteran students right now. Menéndez told KENS 5 those students are far from your average college freshmen. 

"A lot of veterans who have spent years serving their country don't want to go into a fraternity-type setting or an institution with a bunch of 18 -year-olds," Menéndez said. "They want a place where people are serious and people or older than average. That makes community colleges a much easier transition."

The new almost 4700 square-foot Veterans Center will be the second built in the Alamo Colleges District with the first already located at San Antonio College. It will be staffed to provide advising services, help with benefits and help accessing government records and documents needed for the transition to college. 

At the same time, the center is also designed to be a safe space for veterans where they can relax or talk though issues with other soldiers who have been in the same place. 

"There is a history of veterans helping each other with sort of peer-to-peer mentoring," Menéndez said. "In this setting, we find that veterans will open up to others because they can trust that their are folks who understand where they are coming from."

Northwest Vista College Interim President Debi Gaitan told KENS 5 the center is also intendent to support veteran families. 

"Veterans have remained a core cohort of students we want to support along with their families and dependents," Gaitan said. "Veterans can meet and socialize. It can be a one stop shop for them for everything that they need both inside and outside of the classroom."

A NVC spokesperson told KENS 5 construction will begin early next year and will take a year to complete. The center will be built north of the Prickly Pear parking garage.

Before You Leave, Check This Out