Group suggests name for freshman residence hall

The Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee requested approval of the name of a new $50-million freshman residence hall during their meeting TuesdayAfter much consideration, the name Cougar Village was decided on in an attempt to boost UH pride and the University’s strive for flagship status. | UH file photo

The name Cougar Village was not approved at the meeting, and approval has been pushed back to the next meeting.

“It is going to be the heart and soul of the freshman Cougar spirit,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Elwyn C. Lee said. “It’s a drive for tier one and a push for Cougar spirit.”

Future Cougar Village residents can expect to pay $550 per person for a two-bedroom furnished suite that will include a bathroom, cable television and Internet service. Students will have the option of degree-specific theme housing.

The residence hall will be exclusively for freshmen.

Kristen Lindley, a UH-Victoria Business Administration ’09 graduate and the current student regent, said the housing will offer freshmen a unique experience.

“I think it’s a huge selling point,” Lindley said, “I wouldn’t want to live with seniors or older students.”

Currently, 166 freshmen have signed up to move into Cougar Village when it opens in August 2010.

Committee members also brought up the $26-million Robertson Stadium parking garage, which has yet to meet approval.

Many questions arose among the members regarding the garage. The site of the garage has not been decided upon, and there has been consideration of moving the football stadium to another location, furthering the uncertainty.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Plant Operations Dave Irvin made it clear that if a new stadium were built elsewhere, the space that Robertson Stadium occupies would not be used for parking.

“It would be (replaced by) academic buildings,” Irvin said.

This statement was met with criticism from board members, including UH System Board of Regents Chairman Welcome W. Wilson. Wilson described UH’s parking issues as “serious.”

The debate continues on these issues, but no decisions will be finalized until future meetings.

The Committee also discussed the $11-million renovation of the Moody Towers Dining Hall and the $2.8-million expansion and renovation of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.

The Moody Towers Dining Hall is set to open in August 2010, and will be shared by both Moody Towers and Cougar Village. The School of Communication project reportedly is still on schedule.

The Committee also approved the continuation of phase four of the Science and Engineering Research Center build-out construction.

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