University of Houston officials, city of Katy officials, state district representatives and community stakeholders gathered at the site of the future UH Katy campus for a groundbreaking ceremony and reception May 23.
Those in attendance included UH President and System Chancellor Renu Khator, UH College of Nursing Dean Kathryn Tart, UH Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jay Neal, City of Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner, state Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy and State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, among others.
After inclement weather conditions forced attendees to move the reception to an empty building at the still building out Katy Asian Town across the street from the groundbreaking site, President Khator shared her excitement for the new campus and the potential it will offer to Katy-area students.
“We are all very thankful to the Katy community in every possible way for making us come here, for helping us to be here, and now I just ask that you continue to help us build this campus here,” Khator said. “Because knowing what is happening in Katy, I know the future is just, just unlimited work is going to happen here.”
The future Katy campus will offer degrees in engineering and nursing and is anchored by a 80,000-square-foot, three-story building that will house a nursing skills lab for BSN students for the expected 600 future students that will graduate from UH’s nursing program.
“We believe that we have very smart, strong, leaders in nursing that hope to care for the community that they serve,” Tart said. “We work very hard and we are passionate about the work we do and we love it, and we are so honored to bring it to you here in Katy.”
Schofield said the new campus will benefit the Katy community for years to come.
“This is truly a great day in history of Katy, Texas. We have been waiting a long time for this, for several years,” Schofield said. “I can already tell you, that before you even turned over one shovel of dirt, this campus has already benefited the economic development of Katy.”
Schofield added due to demand and the growth of I-10 and the Grand Parkway, he expects the Katy campus to expand in the future
“We are going to be the epicenter of a lot of things, the epicenter of economic development, the epicenter of culture, the epicenter of higher education … and you were here in the beginning.”
The UH Katy campus is expected to open by fall 2019 and is located on the northeast corner of I-10 and the Grand Parkway.