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Volume 68, Issue 1, Monday, August 26, 2002

News

Cullen entrance set for renovation

By Lindsey Bowers
The Daily Cougar

An improved landscape with newly planted trees and lighted walkways will greet those who enter the campus from Cullen Boulevard by
Interstate 45. Starting at the two tall granite pillars on Cullen and extending down to Elgin Street, the University will be adding 60 oak trees,
widening the sidewalks on both sides to six feet and putting up new light posts with hanging, decorative banners.


Hope Eugene/The Daily Cougar


UH workers plant trees on Cullen Boulevard as part of the Cullen Beautification Project. Most of the work done in time for the first home football
game on Sept. 7 and will be totally finished by late October.


"The general goal of the project is to let not only students, faculty and staff know how gorgeous our campus is, but it is to enlighten those who
don't know about our little oasis," said Dave Irvin, vice president of facilities maintenance. "We want to entice them inside and show them what
we're really all about. This project will help us put our best face forward."

Caren Burns, director of campus planning and real estate, said, "The changes give it a grand feel with that 'you have arrived' atmosphere. It's
going to be really slick.

"I don't see how anybody couldn't be excited about this," she said. "Anything we can do to the entrances is great for our school. It will make you
feel proud when you enter UH with such a sense of arrival that makes a real statement."

For $350, anyone can purchase an individual tree as a dedication to a loved one or in recognition of a campus organization. A red granite plaque
will be inlaid in the sidewalk to mark the tree's sponsor. Half the trees have already been sold.

"The whole thing ought to look fantastic," Burns said. "We're planting 30 more trees around campus as well. We're trying to do great things
around the school. We have some tattered edges, but if we just keep moving forward and growing, the campus will get better and better."

Inclement weather has held back the construction by a few weeks, but the Cullen Beautification Project is not expected to interfere with
back-to-school traffic.

Burns also said the work should not affect parking spaces along Cullen, except for the parking lot next to the intramural field, which will be
reconfigured.

In addition to the changes, the Wendy's restaurant on Cullen will be torn down and the franchise will move to a new location on Scott Street.
Burns says the planned move of the Wendy's restaurant was a trigger for the project.

"It was a win-win situation for both of us," she said.

The new restaurant will be much bigger, with two drive-through windows and twice the amount of space to prepare foods. 

"We believe we'll have an increase in sales, especially with school starting around the same time we're opening," said Nitza Jenkins, the
Wendy's store manager. "Plus, we have a better location now that we're next to the stadium.

We have actually lost sales since the construction began next to us on Cullen. The University wasn't supposed to start doing all this until we
were moved out. But rain has delayed the construction on our new building, so they told us we could stay an extra month."

The tentative date for the opening of the new location is Aug. 27.

"We're having a huge grand opening party with cake and balloons for everyone, so be watching for it," Jenkins said.

 Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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