In January 2010, Incarnate Word University proposed to the city manager’s office that the Parks and Recreation Office enter into a long-term lease with the university for the 2.5 acre parcel known as the former site of the Donkey Barn, located on the east side of Hildebrand. The university would keep two existing structures: (1) an on-site storage facility; and (2) the old public works office, which would be maintained on the external part for its historical value and converted to an art gallery internally. This building would be open to the public. The university would add a third structure of four stories to serve as its new fine arts center. On its fourth floor there would be a fencing facility open to the public. The university offered to assume responsibility for Miraflores Park near the Donkey Barn.
The university’s proposal was opposed by several groups that objected to park space being used by an outside party and that the master plan for Brackenridge Park called for this site to be used as an expansion and zoo facilities. In March these groups were to hold a press conference to object to the university proposal. Meanwhile, the city rejected the university proposal. The press conference, organized by former Mayor, was held to thank the city for their actions. Speakers included Mayor Cockrell, San Antonio Parks Foundation; June Kachtik, Brackenridge Park Conservancy; Marcie Ince, Friends of the Park; Gilbert Vasquez, San Antonio Zoological Society; Vangie Flores, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and Rollette Schreckenghost, San Antonio Conservation Society.