Legislature passes UHV fee to finance new recreation center

The University of Houston-Victoria received approval from the Texas Legislature to move forward on its $125-a-semester fee to finance a new recreation center for the Victoria campus.

Glenn Bob

“Our students showed overwhelming support for a recreation center, and it’s our responsibility to provide that to them,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “A recreation center is a cornerstone to creating a residential campus, and now, we’re one step closer to doing that.”

UHV students living within 50 miles of the Victoria campus voted in December, and 73.6 percent supported the fee, which will begin this fall. The fee will be $125 a student each fall and spring semester, $75 for the 10-week or longer summer term, and $37.50 for each summer term five weeks or longer but less than 10 weeks.

The proposed recreation center will have a variety of amenities, including two multipurpose courts for basketball or volleyball, a weight room, cardio equipment to serve at least 30 students at once, three dance and fitness studio rooms, a room for boxing and CrossFit-style classes, a racquetball court, an indoor track and locker rooms. There also will be room to add a snack and smoothie bar, as well as administrative offices, and maintenance and operational support space. The facility will tentatively be located at the southeast intersection of Ben Wilson Street and Red River Street, Glenn said.

Chris McDonald

“This recreation center will provide students easy access to promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Chris McDonald, UHV Student Government Association president. “It’s important for students to take care of their minds and bodies so they’ll have energy to get up and go to class. I pray, read my Bible, go to the gym, and I feel strengthened after I do. Wellness as a whole is essential to personal and professional growth and development, and I think the rec center will help with that as well as unite students.”

Now that the fee has passed through the Texas Legislature, the next step will be to secure funding for the building, Glenn said. The student fee will only pay for a portion of the recreation center. Donor funds also will be necessary to complete the project.

Wayne Beran

“Our hope is to secure funds and begin the planning phase as soon as we can,” Glenn said. “The opening date will depend on when we can secure funds.”

The recreation center will allow the university to offer more activities on campus, such as fitness classes in addition to existing intramural sports and outdoor adventure programs, said Michael Wilkinson, UHV senior director of Student Services & Judicial Affairs. The center also will be a source of jobs for UHV students.

“When you look at a fully comprehensive university, you’ll notice it has a student center and a recreation center,” said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for administration and finance. “We’ll see the student center open this fall, and we hope to see a recreation center on its way.”

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.

Ashley Strevel 361-570-4342