Here’s a peek from Colquitt St. at the early stages of the new science and healthcare center shooting up where the University of St. Thomas’s athletics fields used to be. Construction kicked off back in November, and at least part of the complex is expected to be ready for action some time in 2017. First off the line in Phase I should be the nursing school, along with the biology and chemistry departments.
No signs yet on the site of the winding astronomy tower that appears to be floating up through a hole in the trellis canopy enclosing the complex’s central courtyard, in the renderings from EYP. The planned tower would send students spiraling up above the center’s roof to an astronomy observation deck. The glassy base of the structure is shown hovering above a water feature:
UH LOOKING TO BUILD NEW CAMPUS IN KATY, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THE ENERGY IS The University of Houston has asked state lawmakers to begin work on a $60 million tuition revenue bond that would fund a new campus in Katy, including a 60,000-sq.-ft. facility on a not-yet-identified site. The new campus would be separate from the system’s existing facility at 4242 S. Mason Rd. in Cinco Ranch (pictured above). The move closer to oil and gas firms in the Energy Corridor is part of what UH vice president for government and community affairs Jason Smith tells Community Impact news is the institution’s goal “to become the energy university for the United States.” The Katy campus “would serve the oil and gas interests there, the companies and their campuses there,” he says. Separately, university president Renu Khator last week called the award of a multi-million-dollar grant for the establishment of a UH-led Subsea Systems Institute “the culmination of years of work to establish the University of Houston as the Energy University.” (Grant monies for that institute will come from payments made by oil company BP to the state of Texas after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.) [Community Impact News; UH] Photo of University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch: Directron
WHICH A&M BUILDING HAS GOVERNOR PERRY’S NAME ON IT NOW? Two days of “deep reflection” after telling the Bryan-College Station Eagle that he would be honored to have Texas A&M’s iconic Academic Building renamed “The Rick Perry ’72 Building,” Governor Rick Perry decided to decline the proposal by the A&M Board of Regents before it ever came to a vote. “I have informed the board of regents of my decision to politely decline this honor,” Perry said at a graduation ceremony last night, hours after the vote was supposed to have taken place. “And I do so because there are places on this campus, like our most cherished traditions, that transcend any one individual. They are bigger than any one of us and they represent our shared heritage. I want the Academic Building to be called the Academic Building in 2114, 200 years after it was built.” Perry’s announcement came after 2 days of intense, mostly negative reaction to news of the proposal, including a resolution against the renaming from the student senate, a petition signed by 7,000 students in opposition to same, and an editorial in The Battalion, A&M’s campus paper, which reads, in part: “The absurdity of the idea goes well beyond the irony of putting Perry (and his well-documented sub-2.5 GPA) on A&M’s academic hub, which in 2014 celebrates its 100th birthday. The regents shouldn’t name the Academic Building after the governor. Not because he’s not qualified, but because no one is.” Which is not to say that some other campus edifice might not soon bear the Perry name, as the editorial acknowledges: “Perry might deserve campus recognition, but give him something — anything — other than the Academic Building.” [Bryan-College Station Eagle; The Battalion] Photo: Texas A&M
Meeting in special session in College Station on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents will vote on a measure to rename the campus’s iconic, 100-year-old Academic Building the “Governor Rick Perry ’72 Building.”
Also on the agenda: a vote on a resolution to honor the recently-indicted Aggie alum’s “outstanding dedication and service” during his longest-ever stint as a Texas governor.
The potential Rick Perry ’72 Building was actually built in ’14, 2 years after Texas A&M’s Old Main building burned to the ground:
With a fresh $500,000 donation landing in its coffers late this summer and some city approvals in hand, the University of St. Thomas’s long-planned Center for Science and Health Professions quadrangle could break ground next year. The school says it now has about half of the project’s $47 million budget and hopes on raising the rest by June of next year. UST has stated that it would then break ground in short order with an eye toward opening up some of the complex by 2017.
This mud pit on Rustic St. is not long for the world; eventually there will be a 3-level parking garage here at very congested HCC Southeast. The East End campus is pressed up against the back of a strip center that faces the I-45 feeder road between Woodridge and Wayside. To make room for the garage, appearing to allow students and faculty to enter from both Rustic and Garland, the 100-seat Carlos Garcia Theater and some inadequate surface parking had to go. This is an otherwise expanding campus: last summer saw the opening of a brand-new Workforce Building (shown here), a 3-story, 60,000-sq.-ft. Brave Praxis Brave Architecture job where many of the campus’s vocational programs — including HVAC, cosmetology, massage therapy, and accounting — are now based.
If 2 office buildings go down in a cloud of dust in what looks like a forest, will anybody see it? In Houston, certainly — and so many onlookers have been kind enough to upload their own demolition videos, too. So here you go: vids of this weekend’s Controlled Demolition implosion of 2 unloved former Hewlett Packard office buildings at the future Lone Star College University Park campus near Hwy. 249 and Louetta. A much longer video from Hewlett Packard here features details and interviews.
THE COMING LOCAL HP IMPLOSION Two former Hewlett-Packard office buildings from the original Compaq World Headquarters campus at the corner of Hwy. 249 and Louetta will be demolished in a “controlled demolition” on September 18th. The 2 buildings, a 1,200-car parking garage, and a central chiller plant were purchased for $12.6 million by the Lone Star College System last year, as an extension to the 8 buildings the former North Harris Montgomery Community College System bought a year earlier to create its new University Park campus. But it’s clear the college was mostly interested in the parking spaces that came with the latest purchase. According to the terms of the sale, HP itself will manage the implosion of the 2 buildings, before turning over the resulting “usable green space” to the school. LSCS facilities guy Jimmy Martin explains the reasoning: “The cost to properly maintain the buildings in a ‘mothball’ state until they might have been needed in the future is $1.25 million annually. It was more cost-effective to have the contractor tear the buildings down as part of the purchase agreement.” [Champions Sun; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Geoff Sloan [license]