EDINBURG - The University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved $3.3 million for the construction of a new visitor center and main entrance for The University of Texas-Pan American.
The 186-acre campus currently has several entry points, with the two driveways off of University Drive, just east of Sugar Road, considered the main entrance due to the close proximity to the Student Services Building. However, there is nothing that sets it apart as the main gateway to the campus, said Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez.
"As the University has grown, it has become necessary to designate an area that prospective students and visitors can easily identify as the main entrance, with a welcome center nearby that offers information, tours and other assistance," Nevárez said. "I envision it as a gateway to the University."
The new entry and visitor center will draw people to the Student Services Building, where the registrar, financial aid and recruitment offices are located.
The plan calls for the entrance driveway to encircle a landscaped plaza to provide an easily identifiable front door to the campus, simplify access and circulation from University Drive, and to celebrate the rich landscape heritage of the region.
The creation of a new entrance is a high priority in the implementation of UTPA's Master Plan, approved by the Board of Regents in February, said Dr. Fredrick (Ted) Von Ende, executive director for Institutional Research and Development.
"The idea of the new visitor center is to give a favorable first impression of the University," said Von Ende. "The visitor center will be staffed with professionals and students accustomed to meeting and greeting the public, especially prospective students, parents, corporate representatives, potential employers and potential donors."
The new entrance will also simplify the access and circulation of traffic from University Drive onto the University campus.
The report submitted to the Board of Regents, said the project is expected to be completed in three phases to minimize the disruption of traffic.
For more information on the visitor center or new entrance, contact Von Ende at 956/381-2132.