Advocate editorial board opinion: Build in advance to accommodate university growth

By the Advocate Editorial Board
July 23, 2011 at 2:23 a.m.

We were happy and pleased to see recent enrollment numbers for the University of Houston-Victoria.

We recall when efforts were being made for downward expansion, the adding of freshmen and sophomore levels to UHV, which at the time only served juniors and seniors.

Much was speculated that no additional students were to be had for those classes, and the idea was maybe not that good.

The speculation is over. What we have now is hard, physical facts. And it's better than anybody expected.

Truly, we built, and they came. Or was it the other way around?

Last year, the first freshman class totaled 218. And Jaguar Hall was established for their housing, somewhat after the semester started, but it worked out.

We were happy then about that class number. UHV recruiting worked hard to lure those students from Houston, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley region, and obviously, it continues to bring students in.

Now, in the second year, freshman enrollment doubled - more than 400. We are thinking, "Wow." These freshmen are required to live on campus, and that means expanding the campus. Incoming sophomores can choose apartments in Victoria on a first come, first served basis.

UHV and the University of Houston System must ensure that this growth continues.

We would be disappointed to see some kind of cap put on student enrollment at UHV.

We understand that plans for two new buildings are being developed for student population growth.

And we understand that along with increased student population, classrooms and offices must be built, too, to accommodate faculty, staff and students.

All of these great signs of growth are what Victoria has strived for in a destination university.

We urge those in charge of planning to make a clear and precise plan based on UHV's growth, which now is expected to grow its student population by 9 percent annually.

Let's not let growth happen without being prepared for it.

Signs show it's time to build first, then let them come.

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



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