Howard University to invest more than $785 million in campus facilities

Howard University in D.C. said it’s spending $785 million over the next four years to fund a massive surge in new buildings on campus, as well as renovations to existing buildings, too.

Most of the money, $670 million, will be spent to build three new academic buildings, including a new Health Sciences complex, STEM Center, and Center for Arts and Communications. Academic buildings for education, and Howard’s math and science middle school, will also be renovated.

“The significant investment that we’re going to be able to make in academic facilities on this campus is a generational activity for our students, faculty and staff, and our alumni here,” Rashad Young, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Howard University, said. “It’s one of the most exciting things that we’ve done at this university in a long time.”

The last time Howard built any new academic buildings was 1984.

“We have worked tremendously hard over the last several years to really improve the financial condition of the university,” Young said. Howard was able to issue bonds for $300 million to help fund the first phase of these projects.

In all, some 60% of the money will be financed by the school in the coming years, with the rest coming from a combination of philanthropic donations and the proceeds generated by development at properties the school owns near campus.

“The fundraising can’t be overstated here,” Young said. “That plays a significant role in what we’re going to be able to do in terms of academic renewal and pushing this campus forward.”

He added that the place will look “dramatically different, all for the positive,” but in the near term, there, Young said it means nuisances that come with big construction projects — a good problem to have.

“Our teaching staff is excellent; they’re remarkable. We have some of the brightest and best minds in the country teaching our students, and our students are some of the brightest and best minds in the country,” Young said. “Now our academic programs and our faculty’s strength will be able to be in spaces that they deserve, that really compliment the strength of our teaching core and compliment the excellence of our students.”

The three new buildings will be located on 6th and 5th streets, overlooking McMillan Reservoir.

The Myrtilla Miner Building, housing the school of education and the Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science, is the one building that overlooks Georgia Avenue.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2022 and wrap by 2026.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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