The University of Houston has announced a $35 million plan to redesign major areas of campus in time for its 100th anniversary centennial in 2027.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the university has retained landscape and urban design firm OJB to envision new gateways at several entrances, a gathering space called Centennial Plaza and a shaded pathway along University Drive.
"Our centennial plan is a transformative project," University President Renu Khator said. "The University of Houston is a crucial part of the fourth largest city in the country, and having a welcoming campus that everyone can be proud of is paramount. This reimagination will create a sense of place, community and learning, while also promoting health and well-being not only for our students, but for all Houstonians."
One of the largest changes will come to the original campus quadrangle – which is soon to be a ceremonial, game day and student gathering space called Centennial Plaza. Sustainability is a large goal, project leaders said, and the plaza will include native trees as well as low-maintenance planting at surrounding buildings.
University Drive will contain outdoor "rooms" marked by public art and dining spaces, university architect Jim Taylor said.
The plans include sustainable landscaping and storm water management, according to the university. University officials said they hope the changes will create a more walkable campus, including with updated sidewalks, lighting and irrigation.
Other landscaping improvements will come to Lynn Eusan Park, Cougar Woods, Butler Plaza and the campus woodland from the Science and Research 1 building to the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design.