NEW UH WELCOME CENTER TO SERVE AS ‘FRONT
DOOR’ TO CAMPUS
New Facility Combines Parking Garage, Enrollment Services
to Enhance Convenience for Students, Visitors
HOUSTON, Sept. 22, 2006 – New students arriving at a university
are usually scrambling to find out where to park, where to register
or how to pay for classes. Thanks to the University of Houston’s
new Welcome Center, answers to these and a host of other questions
can be found just minutes after arriving to campus.
UH’s Welcome Center, at Entrance 1 – Calhoun Road
and University Drive – across from the Hilton University of
Houston Hotel, offers the campus community and visitors a new point
of entry to the university and easy access to several administrative
offices that are frequently visited by students. The center, which
opens on Monday, Sept. 25, combines a four-story, 1,500 car parking
garage with Enrollment Services and a visitors’ center.
New, current or prospective students can park in the garage and
immediately stroll to first-floor Enrollment Services, which include
the registrar, freshman and transfer admissions, financial aid,
financial services and academic advising.
To learn more about the university, its colleges and the campus,
they need only walk a few more feet to the adjoining visitors’
center, where they can receive campus maps, talk to UH representatives
or access information using computer kiosks.
“When new or prospective students arrive on the campus,
they are faced with a variety of decisions. It’s important
to take some of the guesswork out of where they need to go for vital
enrollment information,” said Donald Foss, UH senior vice
president for academic affairs and provost. “It’s also
essential that they know how to navigate the campus. The Welcome
Center is the perfect place to begin a campus visit, as well as
an ideal spot for students to start planning their academic futures.”
To further assist students, the Enrollment Services wing is designed
with ample light and a spacious floor plan, so students can easily
find the departments they need. It also offers them a choice between
using self-service computer kiosks or speaking with representatives,
who can answer questions or provide information.
“The Enrollment Services staff can readily address questions
or concerns, but some students prefer using electronic media to
access information,” said Agnes DeFranco, interim assistant
vice president for Undergraduate Studies. “Having these options
enhances Enrollment Services’ level of service and convenience
The Welcome Center also is designed to serve university visitors
and alumni needing assistance finding locations, identifying programs,
or getting maps or tours.
Part of the Welcome Center’s ground level is dedicated to
commercial space. New vendors include the eateries Sonic and Tealicious.
The university is currently negotiating with other vendors who are
interested in opening storefronts in the space facing the Wellness
Center across Calhoun.
The center’s parking garage officially opened in January.
Three-hundred spaces are allotted for faculty, staff and visitors
on the garage’s first and second levels, and 1,200 spaces
are designated for students on the third, fourth and fifth levels.
All spots reserved for vehicles with disability tags are located
on the first level.
In 2004, the UH System Board of Regents approved the construction
of the $25.8 million, 519,000-square- foot Welcome Center/parking
garage. STOA, International Architects designed the facility and
it was constructed by SpawGlass.
“This structure complements the university,” said
David Irvin, associate vice president for plant operations. “In
addition to welcoming students and visitors to campus, it’s
representative of UH in its color palette and contemporary design.
It was also designed with a number of modern security features.
Once students arrive at the Welcome Center and see the proud UH
messages, learn a bit of the history of the university and visit
with university representatives, they’ll know what it means
to be a Cougar.”
Future plans for the Welcome Center include adding a box office
where tickets could be sold for performances, guest lectures and
UH athletic events.
For more information on the Welcome Center, visit www.uh.edu/welcomecenter/.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about UH visit
the universitys Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.