Ceremony takes place for new UHV Academic, Economic Development building

The new University of Houston-Victoria Academic & Regional Economic Development Building will look similar to this architectural rendering when it is completed.


University of Houston-Victoria administrators and community members took part in a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the university’s first new academic building in more than a decade.

Construction on the three-story, approximately 63,000-square-foot Academic & Regional Economic Development Building will start in December and be completed in about 12 months.

“We expect to be out of academic space in Victoria by 2015 because of our growing student population,” UHV President Phil Castille said. “The Academic & Regional Economic Development Building is a welcome and timely addition to this campus.”

The building will be situated just northeast of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St., and south of the UHV soccer field. Funding for the $12.5 million building is coming from state construction bonds and Higher Education Assistance Funds, said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for finance and administration. The university also expects to renew funding from a previous federal Small Business Administration grant.

The facility will house the School of Business Administration, student support services, career services with a job testing area, an office for the Small Business Development Center director, and the new Regional Center for Economic Development. The center will promote area job creation and retention within the 13 surrounding counties.

“Representatives from these counties working on economic development together will be stronger than each of them working alone,” Beran said.

The building also will contain shared resources, including a 400-seat Multi-Purpose Room, which is approximately twice as big as the Multi-Purpose Room in the UHV University Center; a 200-seat auditorium; a 60-seat tiered classroom; smaller classrooms; a finance and gaming simulation lab; and training and conference rooms.

The third floor of the Academic and Regional Economic Development Building will not be finished until UHV gets additional funding from the state. Tentative plans are to house the UHV School of Nursing there when construction funds are made available.

The general contractor for the project is Drymalla Construction Co. of Columbus. Perkins+Will of Houston is the architect, and Rawley McCoy & Associates of Victoria is the associate architect. Urban Engineering of Victoria is serving as the civil engineer for the project.

As part of the groundbreaking ceremony, Castille announced that UHV will be collecting items from 2013 to be put in UHV’s 40th anniversary time capsule. The capsule will be buried near the Academic & Regional Economic Development Building once it is close to completion.

UHV opened in 1973 and has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. To sign UHV’s “An Anniversary of Excellence” book that will be placed in the time capsule or to suggest other items for the capsule, contact UHV Marketing & Communications at 361-570-4341.

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