“Gateway to Randolph AFB”
One of the state’s leading young municipalities, Universal City reflects a charming contrast of established and modern neighborhoods. Once a small agricultural town of 1,800 in 1960, this progressive city, with more than 17,000 residents, is a suburb of San Antonio, and is nestled in the northeast corner of Bexar County. Many cultural and recreational activities in the region – festivals and other lively annual celebrations – contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of the community.
There are different versions of how Universal City got its name. One story relates to the 1935 filming of “West Point of the Air.” Universal Studios, who produced the film, established a supply and living base just outside the gates of Randolph Field. It became common practice to identify the area as “Universal City” as the filming progressed. The second version took root during the early days of World War II when pilot trainees established their quarters outside the entrance of Randolph Field. The third version is attributed to Aubrey Milner, a city forefather who emigrated from Canada, who expected people from all over the world to come to Randolph Field for flying training. As the number of trainees grew, the area outside the Randolph gates had people from all over the world, or “universe,” and it truly was a “universal city.” Which story is the real history? Take your pick. All three versions have a ring of truth to them, and all three relate to the opening of Randolph Field in 1931, making the city’s past, present and future inextricably linked to the base.
The city has come a long way since its inception in 1960, and is now considered one of the foremost young, progressive and dynamic municipalities in the state of Texas. The city boasts many unique features that set it apart from surrounding communities.
In December 2009, Universal City was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first Green Power Community in Texas, thanks, in part, to the city’s progressive use of Windtricity. In February 2010, Universal City was recognized for having the best-tasting water in Texas (groundwater category), after winning best-tasting water (groundwater category) in the regional competition in July 2009. The panel of judges of the Texas Water Utilities Association has excellent taste!
In 2010, the readers of the Northeast Herald voted Universal City as having the best City Hall in the Metrocom. Universal City boasts the best businesses and best residents!
Depending on what you’re in the mood for, it can be found in one of our city’s six parks; Universal City Park alone boasts 32 acres of fun that includes ball fields, walking and jogging paths, and playgrounds. The city’s 50 acres of parkland make it the area’s epicenter of youth sports: softball, baseball, football, it’s all here! The city is undergoing a park-expansion project that includes a fenced dog park and a new state-of-the-art sports complex. From a game of basketball at Meadow Oaks Park to a leisurely stroll along Cibolo Creek in Veterans Park, it’s all here for you! A popular attraction is the full 18-hole disc golf course located in Universal City Park, challenging all levels of players with diverse types of terrain and settings.
The Olympia Hills Golf Course and Conference Center, which opened in April 2000, continues to be a jewel in the city’s crown, offering a challenging 18-hole golf course that was voted one of the nation’s top public courses by Golf magazine. The golf course is maintained by the use of gray (recycled) water, which keeps it in optimal playing condition year-round, even during periods of drought. Beautifully green and lush all year, breathtaking holes and some of the largest, most picturesque live oaks in Bexar County are why Olympia Hills remains the ultimate gathering, golfing and wedding experience. In 2010, it was voted best golf course in the Metrocom by the readers of the Northeast Herald. It is also home to the Randolph Metrocom Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheons.
Add to all this the sports, the symphony, museums, historical attractions, amusement parks and all the outdoor land and water recreation in the area, and you will see why you want to call Universal City home.