Greek Park will become
By Michael Berezin
Daily Cougar Staff
Greek Park Housing, a project requested
by UH student organizations since 1985, is scheduled to become a reality
by the Fall 2003 semester with a
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar
price tag of about $20 million, Dean of
Students and Assistant Vice President for Student Development William Munson
The area near the Engineering
Building on Calhoun Road has been designated as the site of the University's
new Greek Park Housing, slated to be ready by Fall 2003.
The project is headed by the UH Greek
Park Housing Selection Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Vice President
for Student Affairs Elwyn Lee in
cooperation with local fraternities, sororities
and other student organizations.
"This project is meant to provide an environment
that will help stabilize the Greek community and expand its numbers," Lee
said. "Historically, Greek
communities have sponsored and participated
in activities that increased the excitement and student involvement on
campus, and this project is
meant to keep that trend going."
The project includes plans to build three
types of housing complexes on 6.6 acres of University land located on the
east side of Calhoun Road
between Wheeler Avenue and N. MacGregor
Way, stretching from the south side of the Engineering Building on Calhoun
to Braes Bayou, Munson said.
The first type of housing will be two free-standing
houses that will be leased to interested Greek organizations, accommodating
20 to 30 occupants per
house. At this time, Delta Upsilon fraternity
has invested $20,000 as a good-faith down payment in the project, said
Lee. No other organization has
claimed the second tract of land, and
the deadline for land reservation was in January.
The second type of housing will be a smaller
townhouse concept that could accommodate several different organizations
living next to each other.
Each townhouse will house 12 to 22 occupants
in fully furnished double occupancy rooms. The organizations would be able
to decorate the outside of
the buildings to represent their uniqueness.
The final type of housing, called Greek
overflow, will be apartment-style living like Cambridge Oaks and Cullen
Oaks for general students, Munson
"In addition to the housing, there are
plans to have, among other things, recreational facilities, shuttle stops,
pools, security, laundry facilities and it will
be one block from the Campus Recreation
and Wellness Center opening in the Spring of 2003," Munson said.
Currently, the four developers bidding
on the project are Capstone Development, Tramell Crow, Century Development
and American Campus
Communities. "The range of projected construction
cost is $14 to $23 million, but the final cost has not been determined,"
"There will be no increase in student fees
or any state money used in this construction project," Munson said.
The expense of the project will be the
sole responsibility of the chosen developer, who will also manage the leases.
"The exact cost of renting is not yet known
because we do not know the exact construction cost, but we told the developers
that we would like the cost of
renting the Greek overflow apartments
to be around $400, plus utilities," Lee said.
Once the GPHSC chooses a developer, it
will pass the recommendation to UH President Arthur K. Smith and Vice President
of Administration and
Finance Randy Harris for a recommendation
and present it to the UH Board of Regents for final approval.