HBU Press Releases

HBU Breaks Ground for Belin Drive and Belin Tower

May 16, 2014

Sue Sloan, Mary Ann Belin, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr.
Sue Sloan, Mary Ann Belin, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr.

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Houston Baptist University celebrated a milestone for its southwest Houston campus on May 13 with a formal groundbreaking ceremony for Belin Drive and Belin Tower.
 
Though planning has been underway for some time, this project marks the first stage of construction for HBU’s Master Plan for expanded and upgraded academic, athletic, administrative and recreational facilities on 30 acres at the corner of Fondren and US 59. The new Belin Drive will extend a short street known as “the road to nowhere” into a roundabout and road that leads to the center of campus. The entrance will provide direct access to campus from US 59 entrance and will establish a boundary around the retail zone of University property. HBU Vice President for Financial Operations Sandy Mooney noted that the construction of Belin Drive and Belin Tower “will create a new front door for the University and connect our campus to the world that passes by everyday on US 59.”
 
Belin Tower, a red brick, 87-foot-tall Georgian-style memorial and a scenic plaza will stand in the middle of the roundabout. The tower’s design was inspired by Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and will provide an attractive campus landmark that is highly visible from the freeway. The project also includes bringing the necessary drainage, sewage, and electrical infrastructure up to code to lay the groundwork for future stages of the Master Plan.
 
The project is being funded through the generosity of Mary Ann Belin and her late husband, Bruce Belin. The memorial will stand as an enduring tribute to the couple’s significant role in the history of the University. A successful real estate developer, Bruce Belin helped construct the first administrative building even before HBU’s official opening in 1963; he was later appointed to the Board of Trustees and eventually served as its Chair. The Belins actively supported many critical projects since the University’s founding in 1960, including the Mary Ann Belin School of Nursing and Allied Health Simulation Lab and the construction of the Morris Cultural Arts Center. Though Bruce passed away in 2011, Mary Ann continues to be a close friend and strong supporter of the University.
 
Rendering of the future Belin Tower courtesy of PGAL
Rendering of the future Belin Tower courtesy of PGAL.

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The ceremony included remembrances of Bruce Belin and remarks about the Belin family’s legacy from HBU President Dr. Robert Sloan, Jr., HBU Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Denison, and Property Committee Chairman Ray Cox. Numerous community leaders joined the celebration, including representatives from the Sharpstown Management District, SW Houston 2000, TIRZ 20, the Sharpstown Civic Association, and the office of Texas Senator John Cornyn.
 
For more information about HBU’s Master Plan, see the Fall 2013 issue of the HBU News. For more information about the Belin Drive and Tower groundbreaking, contact Kim Andrews.