Howard University Announces $785 Million Program to Upgrade Academic Facilities

Historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C., announced plans for the largest construction real estate initiative in the institution’s history. The university will invest $785 million to build three new state-of-the-art multidisciplinary academic halls and renovate several existing structures, including the historic Myrtilla Miner Building that will house the School of Education and the Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science.

The new academic centers will house teaching and research in health sciences; arts and communications; and associated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. The new construction projects are slated to begin this year and are expected to be completed by 2026.

Of the $785 million real estate investment, $670 million will be used to fund three new academic centers: the Health Sciences Complex, which will house the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy, and the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences; the Center for Arts and Communications, which will house the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the Cathy Hughes School of Communications; and the STEM Center, which will house various STEM programs and disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics, and associated labs.

The infrastructure investment is made possible in part because of enrollment growth, increased philanthropic and public investment in the university, and the university’s efforts to build financial strength. The university had record-breaking fundraising totals last year, ending the 2021 fiscal year with $170 million in philanthropic contributions. In February, the university’s bond ratings were upgraded enabling the issuance of $300 million in debt.

“This is a watershed moment in the history of our institution,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University. “Because of the tremendously enhanced financial posture we have worked so hard to achieve, the state of the university has never been stronger. The leadership of our board and executive team, along with the caliber of students we have enrolled, the illustrious faculty we have assembled, the dedicated staff we have hired, and the committed alumni base we have cultivated, presents an opportunity for us to solidify Howard’s status as one of the preeminent institutions of higher education in the country.”

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  1. This $785 million upgrade sounds very suspect from the title alone. The general public would like to know how many “native born Black American construction companies” will be awarded any substantive contracts? For those who say it doesn’t matter, please spare me with the “It shouldn’t matter” or the “I don’t see color” narrative because it ABSOLUTELY MATTER. Case in point, do you think if the so-called Jewish, Asian, or Latino community was constructing a new building they would have nothing but Black owned construction companies erecting these new buildings? I don’t think so.

    Moving forward, Howard University has literally morphed into a infinite place of employment for African and Caribbean immigrants who have the utmost of disregard towards native born Black Americans. For those who dissent, I challenge you to do a quick review of Howard University upper echelon administrator’s, departmental dean’s, HUH, general counsel, and even the maintenance supervisors. In fairness to Howard University, similar claims can be made towards the vast majority of HBCUs (public or private).

    Finally, I think this announcement from the highly incompetent Wayne Frederick should be thoroughly examined as a case study via Howard University School of Business MBA students.

    • Hey Dr. Watts,

      You’re absolutely correct about the long ongoing housing issue at Howard University. Good ole Caribbean immigrant Wayne Fredericks continues to woefully fail as a university administrator along with conducting himself akin to neo-colonial administrator in which native born Black American students, staff, and faculty are treated disparately in every form imaginable.

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