UHCL to expand with the groundbreaking of two new buildings
Surrounded by forested wetlands, the University of Houston Clear Lake offers a place for students in Southeast Houston to earn a degree. UHCL held a groundbreaking for two new buildings last Friday, expanding their campus to include a STEM and classroom building as well as a recreation and wellness center.
The new buildings, slated to open in the fall of 2018, are only possible because of a bill passed by the 2015 Texas Legislature, along with a student referendum and UH board approval.
“It’s all about partnerships,” said UHCL President William A. Staples. “With who? Everybody. With people, with corporations, with foundations, with legislators, with our alumni, with cities and obviously, with the many donors who support the many initiatives we have at UH-Clear Lake.”
The STEM and Classroom Building, which will cost the University $65.7 million, will offer science, technology, engineering and mathematics students three floors of learning space. The building will house teaching labs, faculty offices and research labs, all topped with an astronomy observation deck.
The $38.2 million Recreation and Wellness Center will house labs and faculty suites in the academic wing, as well as provide a weight and cardio room, two regulation-size basketball courts and an indoor track in a recreation wing.
“This greatly expands the (recreation) program into its own building,” said UHCL communications editor Jim Townsend. “It’s really going to be a nice area not only for the academics for health and wellness, but a great common area for student life.”
Though UHCL only welcomed its first freshman class in Fall 2014, the University plans to bring 300 beds to their campus in a $23.5 million housing project scheduled to commence construction this fall. The residence should be prepared to house students in late 2018 or early 2019.
“I’m excited for it; new facilities, new possibilities,” said physiology junior Daisy Bradley. “There are so many apartments around here but having housing and rec buildings on campus will give us a chance to build a real university community here.”
UHCL also plans to expand its satellite campus in Pearland with a $24.6 million science building, containing several classrooms and teaching labs. The Health Sciences and Classroom Building break ground on April 28 at UHCL-Pearland Campus.