University of Houston


University Center Master Plan And Concept Testing

In 2008 the University of Houston selected B&D to help develop a master plan for the renovation of the University Center Complex and the University Center Satellite. The university recognized the need to address student demand on its campus which was growing significantly in both population and physical development. Along with this growth, national trends indicated prospective students and their families were very concerned with convenient access to campus amenities. Such factors drove demand for contemporary social and service facilities. We were tasked to: review existing conditions; review and asses the bookstore and food service revenue-generating operations; perform a comparative analysis of competitor institutions; perform a detailed financial analysis of revenue and cost implications of potential facility improvements; develop conceptual program options; determine building operating costs for proposed enhancements; and identify revenue potential from student fees and speculative sources. We developed a demand-based program to illustrate the depth and breadth of various spaces and determined that the proposed renovations should include gathering places / lounges, dining facilities, the bookstore, student organization and activity areas, and meeting rooms. After developing several project concepts with associated cost estimates and student fee funding requirements, we conducted a concept-testing survey to assess the student body’s tolerance for various fee increase scenarios in preparation for a referendum. In 2008 over 4,100 students voted in the referendum, which garnered 77% support for an incremental fee increase over five years. Phase I of this $80 million renovation and expansion project was completed in 2014, comprising the renamed Student Center North and Student Center South facilities. The Phase II redevelopment of Student Center Satellite was completed in 2015.


Plans to redeem the status of the University Center and make it more accommodating to the lifestyles of UH students are under way, Brailsford and Dunlavey Assistant Project Manager Hakim Chambers said.