UHV to begin building sophomore dorm

Nov. 17, 2011 at 5:17 a.m.

The University of Houston-Victoria announced Thursday that it will build an $11.3 million residence hall to open in the fall 2013.

To be called Jaguar Suites, the 252-bed, apartment-style dormitory will accommodate sophomores who have 30 credit hours toward their degree.

The building will be constructed in the lot just west of Jaguar Hall, 2705 Houston Highway, and between Jaguar Court - the former Regency Inn that UHV leases.

"I'm just trying to stay one step ahead of enrollment," said Wayne Beran, UHV's vice president for administration and finance.

This fall, UHV experienced an 18-percent growth in on-campus students in Victoria. The number of students taking classes on campus has increased since the university expanded to include freshmen and sophomores in 2010.

Jaguar Suites falls into a master plan UHV is creating based on enrollment projections and input from the community.

Also included in the master plan is a five-acre parking lot behind UHV's residential complex and eventually parking garages, Beran said.

UHV President Philip Castille also has mentioned plans for a new academic building adjacent to the University Center's parking lot.

The university has two academic buildings at the edge of the Victoria College campus. The two higher education facilities share a book store and library, which Beran said works well with UHV's limited campus space.

Beran said UHV will look at student tutoring and learning spaces, but across Houston Highway, the university's residential complex looks to have adequate room to grow.

Preliminary plans for Jaguar Suites show four-bedroom, two-bath apartments that include a living area and kitchen. The design also will include study rooms, lounges and computer labs, according to a UHV news release.

"This is a vital step toward building a destination campus in Victoria, ensuring that we can provide appealing, safe and cost-effective facilities for UHV students in Victoria," Castille said in the release.

Beran reiterated the university's commitment to student safety in its residence halls. The area is patrolled 24 hours a day, he said, and the university is considering options such as a crosswalk or shuttles to ensure students make it safely from their dorms to classrooms.

The city of Victoria installed a crosswalk button at the North Ben Wilson Street crossing when UHV opened Jaguar Hall in 2010, Beran said.

When Jaguar Suites joins Jaguar Court and Jaguar Hall, UHV will offer a total of 670 beds to students.

By 2020, the goal is to have 1,200 beds, Beran said.

"And I hope we need more. I hope we're really busting at the seams," he said.



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