2.11.2 Physical Resources

The institution has adequate physical resources to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University has adequate physical resources to support its mission and the scope of its programs and services. The 1440-acre main campus, located in Waller County approximately 45 miles from Houston, includes classroom space, a student union, administrative buildings, athletics facilities, a library, residential halls, and other facilities. In Houston, the College of Nursing rises eight stories above the Texas Medical Center, while in Spring and the Woodlands, both northwest of downtown Houston, Prairie View leases space for the Northwest Center and University Center to bring convenient programs to working professionals. Finally, the University owns 51 acres in Walker County near Huntsville, Texas, which serves as the location for the H.S. Estelle 4-H and Youth Camp, one of the educational outreach programs central to the mission.

Overall of Physical Resources
Guided by Texas A&M University System Policies 51.01: Capital Planning [1] and 51.04: Delegations of Authority on Construction Projects [2], as well as PVAMU Administrative Procedure 40.13: Administration of University Construction and Maintenance Projects [3], Prairie View determines year by year whether its physical resources are and will continue to be adequate to support its mission, and, when they are not, to plan for additional resources in an organized and timely manner. As the Master Plan Certification filed with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for FY2009-2013 shows, 29 non-critical, deferred maintenance projects, including upgrades to facilities and safety features and facilities remodeling, are scheduled over the next five years [4].

Furthermore, Prairie View A&M University has well-structured maintenance plans through Environmental Health and Safety [5], Campus Planning and Space Management [6], and Physical Plant Operations, which includes four divisions (Facility Maintenance, Campus Maintenance, Utilities, and the Construction and Planning Office) [7], to ensure that facilities remain safe and in good condition. These procedures are explained in detail in Comprehensive Standards 3.11.1, 3.11.2, and 3.11.3

The Campus Master Plan, updated in 1984 and again in 2000, set a vision for Prairie View through 2015. Expected enrollment increases under the Closing the Gaps plan of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) helped dictate goals for increased physical resources in terms of additional gross square footage and educational and general use space. Plans include not only new facilities but also the demolition of several outdated buildings with prohibitive renovation costs. The total square footage for Prairie View A&M University in 2005 and 2008 is listed below, with the 2015 goals from the Master Plan for comparison [8] [9] [10]:



Gross Square Footage

Net Assignable

Educational Use









2015 Master    Plan Goals




As of Fall 2008, 12th-day class enrollment figures already exceeded the original THECB target for 2010. Therefore careful planning in the next Campus Master Plan, scheduled for completion by the end of 2010, is essential to ensure that physical resources keep pace with the expansion of the student body.

Another tool to help institutions gauge the adequacy of their physical resources and determine the appropriateness of requested construction projects are the Space Projection Models published annually by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). In the most recent model, based on Fall 2008, Prairie View had substantially more teaching space and slightly more office space than predicted but less library, research, and support space [11]. The overall deficit in 2008 (1,334 square feet) improved from the deficit of 20,488 square feet in 2007 [12], evidence of increasing adequacy of physical resources.

Adequacy of Selected Specific Physical Resources
Prairie View currently houses 119 structures acknowledged by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board [10]. These facilities contain over 2.44 million gross square feet, with more physical resources in the planning stages and/or under construction. The 2008 Campus Map [13] features four administrative buildings; twenty-two academic buildings; four maintenance facilities; six major farm facilities in the northeast section of campus, administered by the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences; and athletics fields, indoor and outdoor stadiums. The adequacy of the John B. Coleman Library facility is addressed in Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1.

Facilities owned and operated by non-university personnel but located on campus property include student residential halls, maintained by American Campus Communities and filled to 94.2% capacity in Fall 2008 [14]; a local community center; a U.S. Post Office on FM 1098 at the far south end of the campus boundaries, and H.R. Jones Elementary School, part of Waller Independent School District [15]. The last building is included in the space inventory report sent to The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) each year; these reports provide much of the data described below.

Since 2000, several buildings have been added to bolster Prairie View's mission, particularly its quality of student support services, academic programs, and research potential. In 2003 the Willie A. Tempton Sr. Memorial Student Center (126,083 gross sq. ft.), known as the MSC, opened and united the campus bookstore, dining hall, student activities, and crucial services (Admissions, Registrar, and Financial Aid) under one roof to centralize access for students. Where once they had to visit several different buildings to solve a class registration problem, now students simply go to the third floor of the Student Center, where all three offices are located. Additionally, the MSC features a 980-seat auditorium for guest lecturers, student productions, and other activities designed to enhance campus life.

For academics, in 2001, the Elmer E. O'Banion Science Building (166,628 gross sq. ft., with 99% of net space devoted to educational use) was constructed to support biology, chemistry, and physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. The facility includes large lecture halls and updated laboratories, including ones to support the research of graduate students and faculty. As an example of the adequacy of physical resources in helping achieve the University's Mission of excellence in teaching and research [16], consider the Department of Biology. In the new O'Banion Building, there are laboratories for General Biology I and II, Botany, Genetics, Cell Biology, Undergraduate Research, Anatomy and Physiology, and Experimental Genetics.

The majority of new construction has fulfilled the state's Office of Civil Rights Priority Plan, which envisioned an institution with "high quality, desirable programs and facilities," recommended that the campus "add state-of-the-art buildings for key programs," including engineering and nursing, juvenile justice, and architecture, three areas with "specialized programs and initiatives" that are highlighted in Prairie View's mission [17]. Because the University's mission includes "expanding its advanced educational offerings to include multiple doctoral programs" [16], it is important that the physical resources, particularly research laboratories, be available to support the recent Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (2003), Ph.D. in Clinical Adolescent Psychology (2004), and two Master of Science in Nursing degrees (2007), among other degrees. Therefore, in 2005 and 2006, four new buildings were constructed [10]:


Building Name



Educational Use

% Educ.   Use of Net


Nathylene Archer Kennedy Architecture Building






Electrical Engineering Building






College of Nursing






Don Clark Building











* Given the limited property in the Houston Medical Center, the College of Nursing includes 346,121 net square feet of parking garages on all eight floors of the building [18] [19]. Of the non-parking net square footage (62,465 sq. ft.), 92% is devoted to educational use. These figures would change the percentage of net space used for education to 96% overall for the four new buildings.

The University's physical resources are enhanced further by external grants, such as the USDA 1890 Institution Facilities Improvement Grant for the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences [20]. Renovations are planned for the E.B. Evans Animal Industries building (18,609 net sq. ft), the primary facility for agriculture classroom and laboratory instruction, and May Hall (14,082 net sq. ft.), which houses Human Sciences, is slated for roof replacement and exterior waterproofing. Sharing in the funding are the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC) and the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP). As the University mission states, Prairie View's "public service programs offered primarily through the Cooperative Extension Program target the State of Texas, both rural and urban counties" through educational outreach to limited-resource farmers and ranchers. This program in particular will benefit from the updated communications network to deliver video programs effectively via satellite and the Internet.

As part of the state Legislative Budget Board (LBB) Performance Measures, since 2006, Prairie View A&M has been given target space utilization rates for classrooms and for labs.  These rates are calculated by dividing the total number of hours per week classes are held in classrooms / labs by the number of classrooms / labs.

Exceeding targets indicates efficient use of space, and by 2008, Prairie View A&M University demonstrated efficiency for both classrooms and labs. The classroom rate was above the state target as desired for 2006 through 2008. Space utilization rates for labs fell below the LBB targets in 2006 and 2007 but rose substantially in 2008 for an actual rate of 18.92 versus the target of 12.5 [21].

Supporting Documentation and Links

Core Requirements 2.11.2

© 2009 Prairie View A&M University