and staff review the model of UH’s campus master plan,
which includes student housing, classrooms, a sculpture
garden and amphitheater.
Photo by Thomas Shea
This summer, the University of Houston unveiled its vision
for a campus
master plan, complete with new student housing, a sculpture
garden, amphitheater, expanded classroom buildings and revamped
facilities among other amenities.
The UH System Board of Regents recently voted to adopt this
long-range framework strategy and put the university’s
bold, new vision into focus. The board also approved the construction
of this plan’s first major project, a $99 million, 547,000-square
foot residence hall for graduate and professional students.
More than a simple dormitory, this facility will combine retail
outlets, lecture halls, recreation facilities and stylish loft
“This facility will be the university’s first campus
housing designed exclusively for graduate and professional students,
which is appropriate since UH’s enrollment has the highest
proportion of graduate students of any university in the state,”
said Elwyn Lee, vice president for student affairs.
The hall will be located next to the C.T. Bauer College of
Business on its north side and will house more than 700 loft
apartments, 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space
and a 400- to 450-seat lecture hall.
“A facility like this creates an environment that lifts
the attitude and morale of the university,” said Leroy
Hermes, UHS Board of Regents chairman. “What we’re
trying to build is tradition. By having a facility that encourages
people to remain close to the university, then we’ve achieved
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in August 2007
and to be completed in 2009. The architectural firm assigned
to this project is John Kirksey Associates Inc., and construction
would be handled by Pepper/Lawson Construction, the company
that built UH’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
Kirksey and Pepper/Lawson previously have collaborated on residence
halls at Houston Baptist University and the University of St.
Funding for this facility will come from different sources,
said David Irvin, associate vice president for facilities and
plant operations. The building’s housing and retail areas
will be funded by rental fees. The Division of Academic Affairs
is identifying funds to finance the lecture hall.
“We have a long list of retail vendors who want to lease
space in this building,” Irvin said. “As soon as
we said we were building it, potential renters have come out
of the woodwork.”
Irvin added that the first-floor retail area would be similar
to that of the new Welcome Center with an outdoor patio facing
Here are the proposed rates for leasing loft apartments:
Efficiency (300 square feet) - $650
1 bedroom/1 bath (500 square feet) - $790
2 bedrooms/1 bath (650 square feet) - $1,300
Although this is the initial construction project associated
with the campus master plan, other phases began last summer
through landscaping projects and the installation of new campus
The campus master plan will span approximately 20 years and
allows the university to increase the square footage of campus
buildings to 15 million from 8 million and increase overall
enrollment to 45,000 from 35,000. It also bolsters the student
residential on-campus population from 12 percent to 25 percent.
Other enhancements include increasing parking spaces and closing
Cullen Boulevard to auto traffic.
Cooper, Robertson and Partners is the architecture and urban
design firm that developed this plan, which divides the campus
into four districts: arts, professional, stadium and undergraduate.
“It’s exciting to be at UH as we embrace such a
visionary roadmap to our future,” Irvin said. “This
framework plan builds on the best of our campus today and sets
us up to become the premier metropolitan institution of tomorrow.”
To view a PowerPoint presentation and a video detailing the
UH master plan, visit http://www.advancement.uh.edu/masterplan/.