By KAROLYN GEPHART
A groundbreaking was held April 28 for a new health sciences building on the Pearland campus of the University of Houston-Clear Lake. The new building is projected to be completed by Fall 2019.
The 52,000 square foot facility will cost UH-CL $19.7 million. The state legislature approved $24.6 million of funding in 2015 for the UHCL Pearland health sciences building. The university will fund the project through tuition revenue bonds.
PBK Architects designed the building. Construction will be handled by Austin Commercial.
Currently, UH-CL Pearland has a 31,554 square foot building off Pearland Parkway. To meet state requirements for university ownership of property for building, Pearland City Council, donated 22 acres of the 40 acre property to the university last June to move forward with the plans for the new health sciences building.
According to university officials, UH-CL will focus on expansion of health care courses at Pearland due to its proximity to the Texas Medical Center. This will include an RN to BSN program designed for registered nurses who want to earn their bachelor’s degree. Clinical counseling and behavioral sciences will also be included in the new expansion.
The health sciences building will also house a satellite center of the UH-CL Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
“We have intentionally focused on life sciences and health care as a community because our labor force is made up of people who work in the Medical Center. This is another outgrowth of that continuing strategy,” Matt Buchanan, president of the Pearland Economic Development Corporation, said.
The first building was completed in 2010, and the university signed a 20-year lease agreement in 2008 with the option to purchase the facility.
“It brings the community a sense of pride that they have a university here,” Buchanan said. “There will be opportunities for employers in our community to have another supply of labor to attract to their various positions and jobs.”