The USTMAX Center in Conroe permanently closed its doors in December. The center served as a micro-campus for the University of St. Thomas, a private Catholic university in Houston.

What happened

Chief University Services Officer Carla Alsandor said the university made the strategic decision to stop operations at the USTMAX Center, which was located at 336 N. Main St. in Conroe, when the lease came up for renewal last month.

"[The center] did all that we intended for it to do when we first opened it," she said. "Our storefront provided us with great visibility within the community. We were centrally located, and we were able to engage with the leadership in Conroe and really get a feel for what the community needs in terms of private higher education."

USTMAX Center opened in July 2020 and served as a marketing and recruiting center. Alsandor said while the building is closed, the university will continue to operate USTMAX Center online.

The online portal will still offer services that were conducted on campus, including:
  • Information sessions to learn more about the online academic programs
  • Luminary Lectures, which are free presentations offered to the community on a variety of topics
  • Quarterly free Lunch and Learn events that are geared toward the business community
Alsandor said the University of St. Thomas will also remain involved in the community and maintain partnerships with the different chambers, the economic center, historical commission and the city of Conroe.

"We were grateful for the time that we had [in Conroe]," she said. "Now, we're looking into moving into the next phase of our involvement in Montgomery County, and what that will end up looking like still remains to be seen."

Stay tuned

Moving forward, Alsandor said the university aspires to make in-person undergraduate educational opportunities available in Montgomery County.

"All of that is still on the drawing board," she said. "All ideas are still open for consideration, and we are moving through that process."

Also of note

In October, the University of St. Thomas sent out a survey to Montgomery County residents to determine the potential interest in building a new Catholic high school in the community.

The survey was the first part of a feasibility study. Alsandor said the study was successfully completed as of Jan. 5.
  • The next step includes giving feedback to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for review.
  • After being reviewed, a financial feasibility study will begin.
Alsandor said the potential high school would serve the north side of the county.

"We were so pleased with the results that we received from the study," she said. "There is a great interest from the community for an additional Catholic high school that would specifically be able to serve those areas that do not currently have a high school anywhere near them."