The University of Houston System has acquired 46 acres and plans to build an academic building in the fast-growing Katy, Texas, area west of Houston.
Officials say the new site will be known as UHS University Park and will serve an area whose population is expected to increase from 317,000 residents to 550,000 within the next 20 years.
“This purchase signals a new stage in the University of Houston System’s strategic plan to serve the greater Houston region,” says Paula Myrick Short, UH System vice chancellor for academic affairs. “It will allow us not only to serve more people closer to their homes, but also to offer a broader range of degree programs.”
The university is paying $13.8 million for the site, which is near the Grand Parkway and Interstate 10. The school also has an option to buy an additional 14.6 acres at the site. The additional acreage would cost $6.3 million if purchased within 12 months.
Regents also approved plans to sell the University of Houston's existing Katy campus—a 10-acre site in Cinco Ranch that opened in 1989. That campus has a 36,000-square-foot classroom building, but is landlocked and has no room for expansion.
Short says the location of the new campus is a key to the university's strategic initiatives for the area.
“The dynamic growth in the Katy area is clear evidence of the need for expanded educational services in the region,” she says. “The University of Houston System has worked with residents to make sure we are meeting their needs, at a location that will offer convenient access, as well as room to grow.”
About 200 companies are headquartered in the Katy area, including many in the energy sector.