UHV to construct new academic and economic development building

This map of part of the University of Houston-Victoria campus shows where a new academic and economic development building could be constructed.
This map of part of the University of Houston-Victoria campus shows where a new academic and economic development building could be constructed. Click to see a larger image.


The University of Houston-Victoria has started planning for a new three-story, 63,000-square-foot academic and economic development building after initial approval from the University of Houston System Board of Regents.

The project will go back to the UH System Board of Regents for final approval in May and then to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval in July.

The building will be situated northeast of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., and south of the UHV soccer field. Plans call for construction to start later this year, and the building is expected to open by fall 2014.

“Our enrollment projections show that we will not have enough academic space for students by 2015,” UHV President Phil Castille said. “The UHV Academic and Economic Development Building is a needed and welcome addition to our campus as we continue to grow into a dynamic destination university.”

UHV originally received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2008 for a smaller version of the building, but that project was put on hold when the addition of freshmen and sophomores in fall 2010 made more academic space necessary.

Funding for the $11.5 million building will come from state bonds, a federal Small Business Administration grant and Higher Education Assistance Funds, said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for finance and administration.

The facility will house classrooms, student and academic support services, allied health programs, the School of Business Administration and the new Regional Center for Economic Development, a consortium of economic development entities and UHV programs that will focus on job creation and retention. The UHV Small Business Development Center will be part of the center.

“Locating economic development activities in the same building will create valuable synergies that will benefit the entire 13-county region,” Beran said.

The building also will contain shared resources, including a 400-seat multipurpose room, a 200-seat auditorium, conference rooms, training rooms, a business resource center, a computer lab and office space.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler