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Volume 2, Issue 1                            University of Houston

Pin Lim/Breaking News

The decision to construct the new student recreation center on the Frontier Fiesta field at Calhoun Road and University Drive has left the future location of Fiesta City uncertain.

Rec center decision leaves Frontier Fiesta site undetermined

Spring festival may be relocated to parking lot

By Audrey Warren
Senior Staff Writer

The location of future Frontier Fiestas remains in limbo after UH consultants decided the new student recreation center will be built on the current Fiesta site.

On Dec. 6, UH President Arthur K. Smith announced the site, located at Calhoun Road and University Drive, was chosen for the new 230,000-square-foot recreation center approved by students last year. But Campus Activities staff members said the field was never viewed as a permanent home for the annual campus festival.

"We've known that the land was a gift from the University and that one day we might not be on that site," said Campus Activities adviser Bruce Twenhafel, who works with Frontier Fiesta.

Twenhafel said the University has always had plans to use the Fiesta field.

"We looked at five different sites for the location of the recreation center," said Kathleen Anzivino, director of Campus Activities and Recreation.

The sites considered aside from the Fiesta field were the field in front of the Melcher and Garrison gymnasiums; the site of the Wendy's and Burger King restaurants on Cullen; Parking Lot 1A; and a site on Cullen south of campus.

The Brailsford and Dunlavey consulting firm assisted UH in the selection by measuring site assets and liabilities and by constructing feasibility assessments.

"Parking was the No. 1 factor being considered when looking at each of the sites," Anzivino said.

The Fiesta field and Wendy's/Burger King sites got the most points when determining parking capabilities, but additional factors were considered, such as accommodating future Olympic Games in Houston, synergy with other athletic facilities and proximity to campus residence halls.

Although the Wendy's/Burger King site would have allowed access to the intramural sports fields located behind the restaurants, it did not fare as well in the other categories as the Fiesta field, Anzivino said.

"After all the factors and issues were weighed, Frontier Fiesta field looked the best," she said.

With the site selection out of the way, plans are moving forward on the design of the facility and the future location of Fiesta.

"As far as Frontier Fiesta is concerned, we were looking into moving it anyway," Anzivino said. "It will be held at the field this year, and then we'll have discussions to decide the best place for it to move to."

Plans show that the area behind the Baptist Student Union on Calhoun could be used as a new Frontier Fiesta location, Twenhafel said.

"This gives us the opportunity to look at ways we can improve on tradition," he said.

Anzivino said another idea is renovating an existing parking lot near the school to accommodate Fiesta. Holes could be put in the pavement to support poles for constructing Fiesta City, and covers could be put over them when the lot is used for parking.

The Robertson Stadium parking lot, where tailgating takes place during football season, is another possible location for the spring event.

"Right now, we are focusing on this year's event," Twenhafel said. "We are already altering the site plan a little to include new and better changes in the event."

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