14:11 PM

UHS Board of Regents Approve Site Plan for UHD Science Building, New Degree Program

The University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents recently approved two major growth initiatives for the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). The Board approved the site and program for UHD's future Science and Technology Building and a new undergraduate program focused on early childhood education and family studies.

The Board convened on Aug. 25 at the University of Houston (UH) for its quarterly meeting and reviewed items from each of the system universities (UH, UHD, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Victoria).

The Board reviewed and approved the site plan and program for UHD's Science and Technology Building. This month, the University finalized its purchase of 17 acres of land just north of its One Main Building, a portion of which will provide the site for this new facility. The building will house UHD's Natural Sciences program and Computer Science and Engineering labs. Space also will be allotted for a new engineering program. The scope of the program is approximately 115,000 square feet and will include laboratories, classrooms, study areas and an expansive multi-purpose room.

The project's design will begin in October and construction will start in fall 2017. It is scheduled to be completed and ready to accommodate faculty, staff and students by summer 2019.

This item was presented to the Board after discussion and review during its Facilities, Construction and Master Planning Committee meeting.

The Board also approved a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) in Early Childhood Education and Family Systems degree. Offered through UHD's Department of Urban Education, this degree program emphasizes early childhood development and family studies. It will be available to students starting spring 2017.

The degree addresses a demand for early childhood educators in the state and creates a pathway for teachers seeking opportunities with organizations such as Head Start and Texas Rising Star. After discussion during the Board's Academic and Student Success Committee meeting, the Regents approved this item.

The UH System includes UHD, UH, UH-Clear Lake and UH-Victoria, as well as teaching centers and branch campuses in Sugar Land, Pearland, Northwest Houston (offering UHD curriculum) and Katy. UHS also includes Houston Public Media. The UH System is led by Chancellor Renu Khator and governed by the UHS Board of Regents. Board members include Chairman Tilman J. Fertitta, Vice Chairman Welcome W. Wilson Jr., Secretary Spencer D. Armour III, Paula M. Mendoza, Peter K. Taaffe, Beth Madison, Roger F. Welder, Gerald McElvy, Durga D. Agrawal and student regent Joshua Freed.