The University of Houston-Downtown is getting a new garage and a new look, with construction beginning just as the fall semester arrives on Monday.
The 1960s-era garage for faculty and staff, on Girard street near Travis, is being demolished to make way for the $16.5 million project. School officials say it will include a new four-story garage, with a top floor with offices for admissions, testing, veteran, disabled student and tutoring services, along with a new state-of-the-art welcome center.
The glass-enclosed welcome center, which will serve as the main entry point to the university for all visitors, students and parents, will be angled to offer a breathtaking view of downtown Houston. It will include a theater for orientation before walking tours commence.
The project is expected to take 12-15 months to complete.
The timing of construction may seem odd, since the fall semester is about to get underway, but officials say student parking will not be affected. The garage that is being torn down provided parking space for faculty and staff, who will park in temporary lots on Main Street just north and west of the College of Business building. These replacement lots are newly resurfaced and will be ready for use starting Monday.
The student parking garage next to the College of Business on Vine Street is sold out during the day. Students are still able to purchase passes for after 5 p.m. in that garage. Apart from the Vine Street garage, students have three lots to choose from: the Washington Street lot, the Daly Street lot and the San Jacinto Street lot. The Naylor Street lot, formerly used to be for students, however, will now be used by faculty and staff.
Roughly 14,000 students are expected for the fall semester on the downtown campus.