06:29 AM

UPDATE: Groundbreaking for College of Sciences & Technology Building Cancelled


By Mike Emery

UPDATE (Aug. 25): The groundbreaking ceremony for the College of Sciences and Technology has been cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. See below for the original story with details on the building.

A new era is set to begin for the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). The University soon will begin construction on a new academic facility that will expand its teaching and research spaces and further deepen its footprint in Downtown Houston.

The University will officially break ground on the 115,000-square-foot College of Sciences & Technology Building this month. A ceremony celebrating this addition to UHD will take place at 9 a.m., Aug. 29 at the building's site near the Daly Street Lot (just off North Main Street across from UHD's Shea Street Building).

Special guests scheduled to attend this event include Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez (a UHD alumnus), Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros (who earned a teaching certification from UHD), and Texas State Reps. Carol Alvarado and Armando Walle. University dignitaries attending the ground breaking include UHD President Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz and College of Sciences & Technology Dean Dr. Akif Uzman.

"The College of Sciences & Technology Building opens a new chapter for both UHD and Houston," Muñoz said. "This new academic facility will enhance our students' learning experiences with state-of-the-art research and study spaces. It also will serve as a hub for research that is relevant to our community. It's a transformative addition to our University and provides our students with another resource to help them Finish UHD Strong."

The Sciences & Technology Building will 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

"The new College of Sciences & Technology Building brings state-of-the-art science teaching and research facilities to UHD," Uzman said. "It also provides students with collaborative meeting spaces that will facilitate an exciting environment for a high level of scientific productivity within the labs and creative collisions among students and faculty in numerous common spaces."

The building also will host UHD's Center for Urban Agriculture - a teaching and research center focused on agricultural solutions for areas in Houston deemed as food deserts or communities with few resources for fresh produce or nutritious meal options.

The newest addition to campus will be the first building to occupy a 17-acre tract of land purchased by UHD last year. This area extends north of the One Main Building and runs along White Oak Bayou and North Main Street. In addition to the Sciences & Technology Building, the University is reviewing opportunities for further campus development on this parcel of land.

Construction on the Sciences & Technology Building will continue through summer 2019. The design team overseeing this facility is Kirksey Architecture. Vaughn Construction is overseeing its construction. The project's budget is $68 million.