With a history like ours, it’s easy to boast decade-long relationships in San Antonio. A particular relationship that holds dear to our hearts is the one we have with Trinity University. What many might not know, the current campus is actually the third location for the university.
The original campus opened in 1869 in Techuacana, near Mexia, Texas. In less than 20 years, there was discussion of expansion or moving the campus because of quick growth. In 1902, the university moved to Waxahachie where it remained for nearly 40 years. Then, in February of 1942, the Synod of Texas accepted an invitation from the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to move to The Alamo City.
This is where you might think the moving ends, but Trinity was actually located off Woodlawn Avenue for 10 years before settling on the current campus we’ve grown to love. Because of the quick growth, Trinity obtained a new site of more than 100 acres and made plans for its newest campus, in the location we know today. This campus would be called the “hilltop” campus due to the hills of limestone.
This is the time when our stories meet. Construction on the campus began in 1950 and opened in 1952 but some of the buildings were not complete. Since the women’s dormitory had not been completed, female students stayed in the men’s dormitory which housed 60 students. Between 1950 and 1959 G.W. helped complete, construct, and expand the men’s and women’s dormitories, student union, music building, and tennis courts. In the 1960’s we returned to construct the refectory and baseball field, which seats 1,000. Later we were asked to construct the popular Laurie Auditorium.
With decades of building for Trinity, a deep bond and understanding of the campus had grown. When we were tasked with Laurie Auditorium, we knew this was also a special way to pay tribute to James Woodin Laurie, the first president of the hilltop campus. It was under his leadership that 40 major buildings were added to the Trinity campus.
The Laurie Auditorium seats 2,700 and has wide views of the entire venue. It is also one of the largest non-faculty buildings on campus. Laurie Auditorium hosts commencement ceremonies, the Trinity Distinguished Lecture Series, jazz concerts, and has welcomed artists such as Patti LaBelle, B.B. King, and Duran Duran. Second generation Melvin and Bob Mitchell were Project Managers spearheading the construction efforts on the auditorium. Melvin handled phase one, the structural phase, of the project while Bob was in charge of phase two, the finish out.
Since then, G.W. Mitchell Construction has continued to expand the campus, constructing several projects such as the Ruth Taylor Theater, and work in both the arts and the athletic departments. Go Tigers!