Advocate editorial board opinion: Keep focus on expanding UHV
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The community's investment in the University of Houston-Victoria's expansion will be paid back tenfold during the coming century.
If UHV successfully expands to eventually become a destination university, serving 10,000 students or more, the economic and quality-of-life benefits will be enjoyed by all. A community can't ask for a cleaner, more stable industry than a university.
That's why city and county leaders should commit to extending Airline Road and taking any other steps necessary to push forward this vision. The community must work hard to sell both the UH system and the Legislature on the needed state investment in expanding access to higher education in South Texas.
The UH system remains oddly reluctant to accept the offer of free land with no strings attached for a new campus near the Victoria Regional Airport. The impression UH officials are giving is that they don't want to fully commit to the future of UHV.
Although UHV's enrollment won't require a new campus for many years yet, such projects require long-term planning.
UHV cannot wait until its classrooms are full to start working on a building project that could take a decade to complete.
Likewise, UHV supporters will have to apply a full-court press to be sure the Crossroads region receives the legislative funding it deserves after so many years of neglect.
This effort must happen during the upcoming session and likely for many to follow.
All of this helps to explain why Victoria City Council members and county commissioners were right to commit to expanding Airline Road.
Some have objected to this commitment because the need isn't there now.
These people need to keep in mind that no tax dollars will be spent until years later, after a commitment occurs from the UH System and the Legislature.
Meanwhile, community leaders are wise to keep the focus on the vision for expanding higher education for all in the Crossroads and beyond.
No investment is more important to the region's future.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.