A Celebration of Sciences & Technology
'Science on Display' Highlighted at Dedication Ceremony of New CST Building
By Mark Kramer
The official dedication of the new College of Sciences & Technology (CST) Building at the University of Houston-Downtown was held on Thursday, Jan. 9.
Several community leaders attended the event, including University of Houston System Regent John McCall; Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros; and District 145 State Rep. Christina Morales.
The 105,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building opened its doors for classes during the fall 2019 semester. The facility houses the disciplines of biology, biotechnology, biological & physical sciences and chemistry. The building also is home of the UHD Center for Urban Agriculture & Sustainability (CUAS) — focused on promoting sustainable communities.
The $73 million building serves as a model for sustainability in Houston and is the University of Houston System’s only building built to LEED Gold standards—rated for its energy-saving design and sustainable features.
“One of the themes that is carried throughout building is science on display,” said Dr. Akif Uzman, dean of the College of Sciences & Technology.
To that end, labs and classrooms will have large windows that allow for full visibility of lessons and experiments. Complementing lab visibility are numerous writing surfaces, such as whiteboards, throughout the building’s common areas and elevators, which allow students to collaborate on projects and assignments. Each floor features graphic representations of scientific activity to spark further interest in research and STEM disciplines.
Designed by Kirksey Architecture and constructed by Vaughn Construction, the CST Building features solar panels that power two environmental labs—made possible by a $250,000 gift from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club.
Another key feature is the Mark & Tami Mallett Grand Lobby that welcomes visitors and community members and connects to the Fondren Commons via a public hallway with a 60-foot mural highlighting the development of Texas agriculture. The Mallett Grand Lobby (located at the building’s west end) hosts the SciTech Café serving Peet’s Coffee and the Fondren Commons (on the east side) offers a space for events and gatherings.
“This building sets a new standard for sustainability in our city and in the University of Houston System,” UHD President Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz said. “It raises the bar for STEM education where future STEM professionals are being taught by outstanding faculty to address the pressing needs of not only our city, but our region and state. “It’s also a visible addition to our growing campus and to the Downtown skyline.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.