San Antonio, Texas – At a grand opening celebration held, Monday, May 13, officials from Bexar County and the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) officially opened the UIW Brainpower Center for Fencing and International Sports. Among the special guests were UIW Trustee Charlie Lutz, Olympians Victor Svatenko, Rob Stull, John Moreau, Velizar IIiev, Dr. Robert Beck, Dr. and Mrs Joseph Golzieher and Dr. Tracy Hurley and her daughters Courtney and Kelly Hurley, bronze team medal winners from the 2012 summer games held in London.
“This facility compliments our city’s long history of training world class and Olympic athletes,” said UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese. “It’ll provide a much needed venue not only for local fencing programs, but other sports as well. It’s also a good example of the synergy that can take place between the public and private sectors, and the high school and university.”
Made possible by a $2 million contribution from the Bexar County Venue Tax, the UIW Brainpower Center for Fencing and International Sports is the premier fencing facility in the region and was built on the St. Anthony Catholic High School campus located at 3200 McCullough Ave, which is owned and operated by UIW. Incarnate Word provided an additional $1 million toward the building of the facility, bringing its total estimated cost to $3 million.
“Bexar County is glad to participate in the establishment of yet one more venue for competitive sports, such as fencing, that allows our youth to hone their skills and compete on a national and even international level,” Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo said.
The 18,000 square-foot fencing and international sports facility includes 8 fencing strips; practice strips; spectator and exercise areas; a gymnasium with basketball and volleyball capabilities; an international sports area for badminton and table tennis and an armory. A truly internationally constructed facility, the fencing strips are from France and the fencing reels, electronic devices that work with the fencing scoring system, are from Italy. The center will serve as a multipurpose facility allowing UIW to develop an NCAA fencing program; provide the facilities for U.S. Fencing Association and USA Modern Pentathlon clubs for the community; serve as a training facility for athletes including the hosting of regional and national competitions; and support community initiatives such as the Dreams for Youth fencing.