And now, some happy news for a change: after months of fighting over how the University of Houston's Hofheinz Pavillion basketball arena would be named following a planned reconstruction, UH officials and the Hofheinz family have reached an "amicable resolution."
Here's what they hammered out, according to a UH press release issued Tuesday: in exchange for renaming the arena, the university will ask the city to dedicate part of Holman Street, adjacent to the arena, to Judge Roy Hofheinz, a UH alum who served as both a Harris County judge and Houston's mayor. (Hofheinz gave the university $1.5 million in 1969, in exchange for the facility to be named in his honor).
But that's not all: UH will also "build a plaza with a bronze statue of Hofheinz"; designate an area in the UH Alumni Center to a description of Hofheinz's public service; and the UH "library will archive his records in a special collection."
As we reported in May:
The University of Houston announced in November that a desperately needed renovation of the long-neglected Hofheinz Pavilion would begin after the 2016-2017 basketball season. The renovations would cost 60 million dollars, with 20 million of those dollars coming from an anonymous donor. The school also announced at the time that the building would no longer be known as Hofheinz Pavilion.
Fred Hofheinz, Roy's son, stated in the press release that his father "would want the athletic program at the University of Houston to prosper. So we know he would support this move which will bring the basketball arena, which bore his name for 47 years, into the 21st century. All of us in the Hofheinz family say: 'Go Coogs!'”
Hunter Yurachek, UH's vice president of intercollegiate athletics, said "I’m pleased that we can work together to honor Judge Hofheinz’s spirit of innovation and passion for development, while commemorating his indelible mark on the University.”
We assume they all then gathered around a campfire and sang kumbayah. Our hearts have been warmed.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.