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Thursday, June 1, 2023


Buildings of UH: Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex


Callie Parrish // The Daily Cougar

The UH campus is composed of a harmonious symphony of architectural awe — or at least it could be called a nice ballad. One of the more recent additions to its evolving campus is the Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex.

Located at the edge of the jagged and soon-to-be refurbished Cullen Boulevard, the Science and Engineering Research Center is a five-story building with more than 40 laboratories. Its sister building — the Science and Engineering Classroom Building – is the home to 11 lecture buildings, including a giant 550-seat auditorium, according to

A commonly known use for this auditorium is the location of Professor Simon Bott’s chemistry classes, where school spirit and science are abundant.

Inside the SEC auditorium, students have their personal space invaded by other students who insist on spreading their legs despite the very small space between the auditorium seats.

In addition, students also suffer as the late students enter the auditorium struggle to make their way to the one seat located in the middle of the row. Bumping their butt into the desks of the students who actually arrived early, these late students can be heard muttering a half-hearted “sorry.”

Granted, the Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex did not just sprout from the earth like a pair of daisies. Construction for this complex began in 2005 with the work of Pelli Clarke Pelli.

Like most projects, there were some expected halts along the way.

For example, The Daily Cougar archives reported on Aug. 23, 2005 that when the Science and Engineering Research Center first opened, it was only partially functional. The elevators intended to transport Cougars five floors to the top were not open for student use.

Due to lack of certification by the fire marshal, the elevators had to be operated by professionals. Luckily, Plant Operations was kind enough to lend a hand to students by being makeshift elevator operators for a few days.

Callie Parrish//The Daily Cougar

Callie Parrish//The Daily Cougar

A present-day, lazy UH student may sometimes wallow and whine over the hassle of having to extend their arm to press the illuminated button that whisks students away to their destinations, but I doubt Plant Operations would be kind enough to lend a finger twice.

Although, if a Cougar is feeling especially lackadaisical and is in that area, one could always lounge outside near the sunny courtyard fountain and admire the glass pavilion linking the two buildings. Or one could always use the warm granite as a nice place for a mid-day nap.

Opinion editor Kelly Schafler is a print journalism senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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