Construction of the new Compass Rose Innovation campus at the Port continues to move at a brisk pace as the school prepares to launch in the 2020-21 school year.
The upcoming school will serve the entire region, beginning with an estimated 500 students in kindergarten and grades 1, 2, 5 and 6 beginning next academic year. In the years ahead, as the school phases-in additional grades, enrollment will exceed 1,000 students in grades K through 12.
Compass Rose established its first campus in the southeast region of the city in 2017. The upcoming school at the Port will be open to students from throughout Bexar County and offer curricula and special programs connected with industries that are thriving at the Port, such as aerospace, cybersecurity, robotics, IT and several applied technologies.
“Compass Rose is, at its heart, a college preparatory school; we believe that every student has big dreams, and every student should be challenged to meet and exceed those dreams,” said Compass Rose Founder and CEO Paul Morrissey as he toured the busy construction site for the new campus.
“To succeed in our mission of creating opportunities for today’s and upcoming generations of San Antonians, education is key,” said Port San Antonio Board Chair Chris Alderete. “Compass Rose will be more than a tenant on our campus. The school will be another important partner as we work hand-in-hand with educators from across our community to inspire and prepare young people to build their futures.”
“Compass Rose understands that ingenuity and innovation requires holistic learning,” said Port San Antonio President and CEO Jim Perschbach.
“Right here on our campus, through our planned innovation center and other exciting programs, students from Compass Rose and all area schools will have a front-row seat to see how technologies developed in San Antonio are connecting with the world. This first-hand experience will be essential to help them see themselves as part of that next wave of problem-solvers,” he added.
The first phase of the school’s construction, which will be completed this summer, entails two facilities totaling 45,000 square feet of classroom and cafeteria / multi-purpose space, along with a new basketball court.
Subsequent phases will include four more buildings with additional classroom and administration space, as well as a gymnasium. Upon completion, the six-building complex will total nearly 130,000 square feet.
School administrators plan to make portions of the facility available for activities by the surrounding neighborhoods and other schools and partners in the region.
The new school is located on the 500 block of Billy Mitchell Boulevard near the intersection with General McMullen Drive. It is just across the street from the Port’s 374-unit Gateway Residences town homes complex and next to the Port’s historic Chennault Circle district.
Several important educational resources at the Port will also be located close to the school.
Just to the south of the new Compass Rose complex is the current site of the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT). Launched in 2017, the museum has been an instrumental resource for students and educators throughout San Antonio. Its exhibit space includes an array of unique artifacts that chronicle the history of numerous technological innovations that changed the world, including many that were developed in San Antonio, such as personal computing, local area networks and secure telecommunications.
Alongside with nonprofit educational partner The WEX Foundation – also based at the museum—SAMSAT has used its initial home at the Port to deliver an array of STEM-based programs to schools districts from all over San Antonio. To date, over 20,000 students from throughout the region have participated in free hands-on activities at the museum that include modeling lunar habitats on 3-D printers designing and launching rockets and building their own computers. Compass Rose students will also be able to tap into these resources.
The Port is working with SAMSAT and other partners to significantly expand educational programs in the months ahead. Port San Antonio's planned innovation center will be located close to the new Compass Rose campus. The large upcoming state-of-the art educational resource will accommodate STEM programs for over 100,000 students per year.
Among its features, the innovation center will provide SAMSAT with a considerably larger space to house its exhibits alongside modern classrooms to support simultaneous activities by school groups and other visitors. It will be part of a 130,000-square-foot building that will also include a large capacity technology arena hosting educational programs as well as technology competitions and demonstrations, such as electronic gaming, robotics and drone racing.
“Our innovation center is going to be a fantastic asset for Compass Rose and other schools throughout the community,” continued Perschbach.
“Port San Antonio was the obvious site for the next Compass Rose campus,” added Morrissey. “We were looking for a partner – not just a landlord – who had the same vision for itself as we have for our children. The vision that the Port San Antonio team has put together is inspiring, and we’re excited to be part of uplifting the community.”