Coordinating Board approves purchase, renovation of hotel for new ''Jaguar Hall''

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gave the University of Houston-Victoria approval on Tuesday to buy and renovate the Inn Place Hotel into the university’s first residence hall.


The purchase of the former Holiday Inn, located at 2705 Houston Highway, is planned for Friday. The hotel will close for business as soon as possible after that date in order to allow the university to prepare the property for extensive repairs and renovations, which are expected to start early next year. Some of the hotel’s employees may be used during this process.


“This is an exciting time for UHV as we prepare for our first freshmen and sophomores, who will arrive in the fall,” Hudson said. “Jaguar Hall, as we are calling the site, will be a quality facility where our new underclassmen can live, study and socialize.”


The UH System Board of Regents previously gave UHV the go-ahead on Dec. 2 to proceed with purchasing and renovating the hotel. The action was pending Coordinating Board approval.


It is expected to cost $9 million to purchase the building and make the needed repairs, furniture purchases and renovations to reconfigure it for students.


Jaguar Hall renovations and repairs initially will focus on Building A, the east building on the site, to prepare it for the university’s FIRST 200 underclassmen starting classes in August. Building A can house a maximum of 250 students living in 125 double-occupancy rooms. The extensive renovation process will put more than $5 million into the local economy, Hudson said.


The second stage of renovation and repairs will last until December of 2010 in Building B, the west building on the site. It will be ready in the spring semester of 2011 and can house 166 students in double-occupancy rooms.


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