Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence

New Construction

San  Antonio, Texas


Alamo Colleges District

St. Philip’s College



MEP Engineering Services

Project Size

61,800 SF


$30 M

Project Completion

July 2020


The new Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence Building (THCA) at St. Philip's College was funded by the 2017 Alamo Colleges $450 Bond Program to provide a dedicated facility for one of the oldest and top-ranked culinary schools in the United States.


The 61,800 SF, four-story facility organizes around five teaching kitchen labs and two full public-accessible commercial labs. The kitchen labs are located along a public corridor for easy access and activity visibility to both students and visitors. The commercial labs are two fully functioning signature restaurants that will be open to the public to help students gain real-life skills. The Buildings public spaces are designed with a hotel like feel to be spacious, easy to navigate and with multiple small seating gathering areas. The hospitality program features a classroom with a mock hotel office and breakout rooms with retractable walls to emulate a commercial hotel environment.


A chilled water system ties into the existing campus loop and serves roof-mounted AHUs with fan-powered and VAV terminal units as well as FCUs for zones with high cooling loads. Air distribution in acoustically-sensitive high volume spaces, plumbing coordination with kitchen and laundry equipment, and multiple extensive kitchen exhaust systems sharing chases with several utilities required detailed design and code analysis.