Lone Star College System has purchased the core of the Hewlett Packard North Campus on State Highway 249 at Louetta Road in northwest Harris County.
The campus was once home to the Compaq World Headquarters.
The purchase gives LSCS 1.2 million square feet of additional space in eight major buildings, as well as parking garages and other support infrastructure, making this one of the largest such acquisitions in higher education history.
In terms of physical size, the space purchased is roughly the equivalent to One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston, and is more than double the size of LSCS's newest and largest college, LSC-CyFair, with an enrollment of more than 12,000 students.
In all, LSCS enrolled more than 52,000 students in credit courses on five colleges and six satellite campuses last fall, and another 14,000 students in non-credit courses.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
"This is an exciting chapter in the history of both this storied facility and the Lone Star College System," said Chancellor Richard Carpenter.
According to Chancellor Carpenter, the facility will serve multiple purposes, including a new University Center for north Harris County, an instructional satellite campus, a Corporate College conference and training facility, and System administration and support space.
The new facility provides the fast growing system, the third largest community college in Texas and the largest higher education institution in the greater Houston area, with room for new program development and expansion, adding to the numerous new facilities underway at all of the System colleges.
A University Center in the northwest Harris County has been pursued for several years. Funds for such a center were included in the System's May 2008 bond referendum.
"This purchase will help us fulfill our promise to the community," Dr. Carpenter said.
"We enjoy a solid reputation for delivering what we promise", he added.
LSCS' current University Center in The Woodlands partners with six major Texas universities and has enrolled more than 54,000 students since its opening in 1998. Students are able to take the first two years of college courses at a Lone Star College, then complete a bachelor's or master's degree from a partnering university.
Initial plans call for the system to begin offering instructional classes at the new site by spring 2010.
Lone Star College System includes LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball, and LSC-University Center. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.