Community Celebrates Progress of UHD's Sciences & Technology Building
By Mike Emery
Houstonians have witnessed the steady progress of the University of Houston-Downtown’s College of Sciences & Technology Building (off Interstate 10 at North Main and Naylor streets). The newest addition to UHD broke ground last year and on Aug. 14, it reached its apex.
UHD community members and local leaders assembled to celebrate the classroom and research facility’s development during a Topping Out ceremony conducted at the construction site.
Dignitaries attending this event included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner; Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis; Houston City Council member Mike Knox; Texas Rep. Alma Allen; Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzalez; Steve Durham, executive vice president and collegiate team leader at Kirksey Architecture; Tom Vaughn, CEO of Vaughn Construction; and University of Houston System Regents Dr. Durga Agrawal and Gerald McElvy.
Before the final beam (signed by the guests in attendance) was hoisted to the top of the building, University of Houston-Downtown President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz welcomed distinguished guests and supporters to the event.
“Great universities succeed because of great communities and great partnerships,” he said. “That’s evident in this room today. Today, we’re raising our final beam on this building, and a tree has been symbolically placed on top of this structure. The seeds of success, however, have already been sown in this College and in our students.”
Muñoz added that the building will help prepare students to meet the demands of the STEM workforce in Houston and beyond. With new laboratory spaces, computational classrooms and study areas, students soon will have a new state-of-the-art learning environment.
Mayor Turner agreed that UHD’s College of Sciences & Technology Building marks a turning point for the University and for Houston.
“In this city we’re not just building a city for today; we’re building a city for our future,” Turner said. “In building communities, you must have great facilities. The expansion that is taking place here today helps fulfill the dream of building a complete community in Downtown Houston and the Near Northside.”
UHD’s $73 million College of Sciences & Technology Building will span 115,000 square feet and include the following amenities:
- 14 laboratory spaces for classes in chemistry and molecular life sciences
- 12 laboratories for undergraduate research
- Three computational classrooms
- First-floor commons area for studying and student gatherings
- Expansive multipurpose room
- First-floor lobby
- Full-service café
It is the first building to occupy a 17-acre tract of land purchased by UHD in 2016. Vaughn Construction is overseeing its construction, which is scheduled to continue through 2019. Kirksey Architecture is leading the building's design.
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.