Advocate editorial board opinion: Good planning will accommodate future UHV freshmen

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 19, 2010 at 5:19 a.m.
Updated Nov. 20, 2010 at 5:20 a.m.

Seems the University of Houston-Victoria's recruiting for new freshmen and sophomores after a semester of expanding to a four-year university has challenged the housing in Jaguar Hall, UHV's sole dormitory, to accommodate incoming freshmen.

We encourage officials at UHV and the University of Houston System to plan well for growth. We would hate to see growth stop because of lack of space to house new students.

UHV President Don Smith said the UH System has a facilities planning process and UHV is part of it, "and we are planning at this point about three years out at this point."

Smith said about 182 students currently reside in Jaguar Hall, which has a capacity for 250 students. That leaves room for about 78 new students. He added that the university dormitory should be able to accommodate new students this spring.

However, when fall 2011 approaches, Smith said UHV would be asking sophomores to find apartments to make room for new freshmen. Freshmen are required to stay in the dormitory during their first year. Smith said a local realtor has already been contacted to help locate sophomores in housing surrounding the university.

"We are hoping we will get as many as we did this fall," Smith said. That would be about 250 new freshmen, filling Jaguar Hall.

Plans are to construct new residences in 2012 next to Jaguar Hall that would double the capacity for freshmen.

Smith said that would be paid for by the university or private entrepreneurial means.

"Once we get a second class in, we will have better data to project," Smith said.

He added that at some point, the growth would probably level out and not be as dramatic.

"But we hope for steady growth after that," he added

We encourage UHV and the UH System to plan well after that second class of freshman so the university can accommodate as many students possible.

We think planning five to 10 years out should be undertaken.

"It's a wonderful problem to have. We can have our differences about the future - how fast growth will be . we will need to sort out and try to make realistic plans. We are going to grow. But by how much, and what will we need to do to accommodate it?" Smith said.

All of these questions are why it is important for UHV and the University of Houston System to plan ahead.

We don't want to stop growth when it is at our door.

Let's welcome progress in, not turn it away.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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