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Sunday, December 4, 2022


UH receives piece of Sept. 11 history

UH has received a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, which will be put on display in the new University Center once construction is complete.

“We are still… deciding how it will be displayed,” said Cedric Bandoh, chief of staff for the Student Government Association.

“It will probably be displayed in a memorial-type fashion.”

Until the completion of the new University Center, the steel will remain in storage.

“If we were to display it somewhere on campus right now and then move it when the new UC is opened, it just wouldn’t be cost efficient because it’s such a large piece,” Bandoh said.

The piece cost $1,500 to ship and was funded by the University Center, said Keith Kowalka, assistant vice president for student development at the University.

The steel has been stored in the Energy Research Park since its arrival in October.

The SGA has been largely responsible for the acquisition of the steel, after a student proposed the idea to former SGA President Kenneth Fomunung, Bandoh said.

“It really started with the Kenneth administration … (and) it got more recognition with Prince’s administration. He really pushed for it to get here, but there were just a lot of (contractional) hold ups,” Michael Harding, president of SGA, said. “Then it came across my desk, and we were having the same trouble.”

Another reason for the lengthiness involved was the amount of time required to complete the application process, Bandoh said.

“We had to submit an application to (The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey),” he said.

“Gladly, we were approved to receive a piece of the steel, and then it was just a matter of waiting for the Port Authority to divide up the steel.”

Eventually, however, the problems were sorted out and the steel arrived.

“We’re really excited to have this piece of American history on our campus,” Harding said.

“I want to say it’s 3800 pounds, and it’s not something that’s shiny at all. It really looks like it’s straight from the site. … It’s just one of those things that brings a little bit of prestige and excellence to this University.”

Bandoh said any students or faculty wishing to pay their respects can put in a request to view the piece with the Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Walker.

“This is something that we think will add a lot of value to the University of Houston in the sense that there will be a landmark on campus where people can go to commemorate those who have fallen,” Bandoh said.

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