All that booing over the last year and a half from Houston’s most expansive university system and its legislative friends looks to have paid off: UT has cancelled its plans for a new research campus south of the Astrodome, citing fears that continuing to press for the project could throw a wet blanket on projects at its other campuses. The school’s press office announced the pivot this afternoon, adding that UT’s real estate office will look into how to sell the 307 acres they’ve spent the last year collecting, though it might take some time to put together a sale that makes sense.
UH Board of Regents chairman and reality real estate TV star Tilman Fertitta said today that the sustained backlash to UT’s land buy was really a team effort, assisted by elected officials, administrators, and other folks aiming to prevent what Fertitta calls an unnecessary duplication of state resources. UT had previously announced that the campus wouldn’t have been a 4-year university; chancellor Bill McRaven suggested this afternoon that plans for the land might have shaped up to include a big data science center with a focus on health care, energy, and education, and that the ideas from the task force put together to plan for the land could be put to use elsewhere instead.
- Chancellor McRaven ends plan for UT project in Houston [UT Press Office]
- UT System Says It Won’t Proceed with Houston Campus [Texas Tribune]
- Previously on Swamplot: McRaven: New UT Houston Campus Not a ‘Dump’; Just a Contaminated S. Main Industrial Site Like Any Other; UT Writes Back to UH Pen Pals, Lawmakers on Houston Campus Plans; Texas A&M Weighs Houston Expansion As UT Collects Land for Its Planned Campus; What That Land UT Bought on Friday for Its Houston Campus Might Have Turned Into Instead; The Best Views of the New UT Houston Campus Are Available Now from the Fairway on the 5th Hole, Above a Trash Heap; What You’ll Find In and Around UT’s New Houston Campus
Conceptual rendering of UT Houston campus: Houston Public Media