New Center a ‘Game Changer’ for UHD and Downtown Houston Community
On the cusp of its 50th anniversary, UHD ushered in a new era today with the official opening of its Wellness & Success Center (WSC) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on January 20!
With remarks by UHD’s President Loren J. Blanchard, Director of Sports & Fitness Richard Sebastiani, and Student Government Association President Jesus Nieto; University of Houston System (UHS) Regent John A. McCall, Jr. and Vice Chancellor of Governmental Relations Jason Smith; and Representative Mary Ann Perez. Lynette Cook-Francis, Interim Vice President, Student Success and Student Life, emceed the event. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia was also in attendance. The Houston Rockets' mascot, Clutch, enlivened the event with interactive activities and giveaways in the Center’s gym.
“The reality is that the name of this building is synergistic in nature,” stated Blanchard. “We are focused on the wellness of our students because we know that their success depends upon all of their basic needs, including physical and mental well-being, being met. They are much more likely to graduate, experience socioeconomic mobility, and, ultimately, become leaders in their professions and communities by living healthy lifestyles.”
Fun facts surrounding the design and construction of the Center include:
- Roughly 650 tons of structural steel, 6,400 yards of concrete, and 475 tons of rebar were used in the Center’s construction.
- The gymnasium includes eight long-span trusses, each measuring 99 feet in length, that were all delivered and erected in one piece!
- The elevated indoor running track on the second floor is open to the three-court, first-floor gym below for a great view.
- The new facility has the capacity to serve more than double the number of students compared to the previous facility.
- The east façade and elevated track “push” toward the bayous to maximize the new greenway and create space for the future growth of the UHD campus.
In the near future, affiliates and friends of the University will be eligible to purchase half-year or annual memberships to the Center. “As we aspire to be an Anchor Institution, we know that the Wellness & Success Center will play a major role in solidifying UHD’s relationship with not only those who live and work in Downtown, but also those living in the communities surrounding our campus,” said Blanchard.
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 more than 15,000 students, boasts more than 64,000 alumni, and offers 46 bachelor’s degrees, 11 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences & Technology. For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution, and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.