New athletics facility brings discussion on older UH buildings
Students have mixed feelings about the announcement of the new athletics facility, saying UH should put more focus on the aging buildings on campus.
The new athletics facility plan and budget were approved at the quarterly Board of Regents meeting. This project is aiming to be completed by Winter 2024.
Some people weren’t sure how to feel about the new facility, with students like accounting junior Maisha Walker wanting more to be done with the older buildings on campus as far as renovations or fixing issues that have been around for years.
“It’s unfair that the older buildings remain extremely outdated while the University prioritizes the funding of new buildings,” Walker said. “These buildings don’t have the same level of cleanliness and professional look as the newer buildings.”
Other students, like strategic communications senior Jefferson Coe, do not see the immediate concern over renovating the older buildings when comparing the time spent on the athletics facility.
“I think they give a nice old-school college look,” Coe said.
Moreover, Coe thinks the University should put a priority on academics and the spaces that enable that environment.
“I believe that (the) majority of students come to school for a degree,” Coe said. “So, UH should focus on academics first and making sure that they are providing the best educational environments for the students.”
In light of students’ concerns, the vice president of facilities and construction management David Oliver said the Core Renovation Project introduced in 2017 is meant to renovate the buildings that make up the general education core of the University.
This “core” includes Agnes Arnold Hall, Charles F. McElhinney Hall, Roy G. Cullen, Science Research and Engineering Center, Science and Research I and the Science Building.
“These buildings are home to a substantial number of classrooms, labs, faculty offices and departmental headquarters,” Oliver said. “The renovation plan includes addressing deferred maintenance issues, modernization of facilities, building systems and aligning the interior spaces with the occupants’ needs.”
The Science Building and the Roy G. Cullen buildings recently had major renovation projects completed. Other buildings are currently in their first or second phase of construction.
Agnes Arnold, despite the project being launched in 2017, won’t see the start of construction until the summer of 2024 and remains in its design phase.
“We recognize that construction can be an inconvenience for members of our campus community, but we appreciate their patience as we work to improve our facilities,” Oliver said. “The campus is undergoing immense growth and we are excited about the progress already made and the terrific improvements that are in store for the future.”