On Oct. 22 the first stone was laid of what is to be the San Miguel de Allende campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM. The satellite campus, a project of the municipal government, the state of Guanajuato, and UNAM, will accommodate up to 800 students in its first stage.
The campus will be located near the municipal administrative building on the road to Querétaro on 4.5 hectares of land. The building design will adhere to typical San Miguel architecture, with a distinguishing feature of access for students with disabilities, including an elevator, ramps, and adapted toilets. Completion of the first stage of construction is projected for June 2021.
Since 2013, the local UNAM campus has been on calle Mesones, and has focused on languages. According to Jaime de la Fuente, director of UNAM in San Miguel, the goal for the campus is to continue to be a national center for languages Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that will be offered—to which up to four thousand students will have access—will be announced in the final stage of the project, which currently has no set date. New focuses will be on science, technology, and research. The new campus will also provide services for the general public in the areas of dentistry, physiotherapy, and ophthalmology.
During the stone laying event, UNAM Rector Enrique Graue Wiechers recalled that the University has a 450-year history, but it was only 40 years ago that it began expanding in the metropolitan area of CDMX. In 2011 the first satellite—ENES León—was built in Guanajuato. This is a higher education institution affiliated with UNAM. The university then sought to expand to San Miguel de Allende.
The investment cost, split between the state, the municipality, and UNAM, is 42 million pesos, with the state committing to an additional 19 million pesos for an access road.