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UIW Starts Construction on $3 Million Fencing & International Sports Center

Texas Business reports: SAN ANTONIO—Poised to become the place where Olympic dreams are made the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) recently broke ground on a multi-million dollar Fencing and International Sports Center.

The facility, made possible by a $2 million contribution from the Bexar County Venue Tax, will be the premier fencing facility in the region and will be built on the St. Anthony Catholic High School campus in San Antonio, Texas, which is owned and operated by UIW. 

Incarnate Word will fund an additional $1 million toward the facility, bringing the estimated cost to $3 million.

The goal of UIW's facility is to attract and rebuild the local fencing and modern pentathlon community and to build an NCAA sanctioned collegiate varsity fencing team. The center will also be home to a 200-member fencing club which will provide sustaining funds for operations and programs.

“We're pleased to provide new opportunities for students interested in pursuing fencing at both the collegiate and high school levels with what will be the finest fencing center in Texas,” said UIW president Louis J. Agnese Jr. in a prepared statement.

Timothy Henrich, UIW professor of sports management and kinesiology, said San Antonio has historically been home to many successful Olympic and international caliber fencers.

“We hope a central facility will bring fencers and coaches together for large scale competitive practices and major tournaments,” Henrich said.

The 18,000 square-foot fencing and international sports facility will include a minimum of 12 fencing strips, several practice strips, spectator and exercise areas, an armory, men's and women's lockers as well as office and storage areas.

With the development and completion of the new fencing center and the addition of a full-time fencing instructor and master, UIW will also offer a new fencing curriculum within the undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the beginner and advanced levels for each of three weapons including foil, epee, and sabre.

The facility is set to open in 2013.

The University of the Incarnate Word is a private liberal arts university with a 130-year tradition of educating diverse populations throughout the world within the context of faith. UIW is the largest Catholic University in the state and the fourth largest private university in Texas.