The goal of the University of Houston’s (UH) multi-use Advancing Community Engagement and Services (ACES) Institute is to establish partnerships that can elevate the quality of life in Houston’s Third Ward community. The flexibly designed ACES Institute allows graduate and undergraduate students to contribute to the improvement of local K-12 schools and their community through learning and development activities.

The focus of ACES is to assist students, their families and other community residents by providing new and value-added opportunities for education and work force development, and entrepreneurial training that will lead to a stronger and more resilient community. The Institute has successfully established collaborative relationships with Third Ward groups active in developing businesses: Change Happens, Project Row Houses (PRH), the Emancipation Economic Development Council (EEDC), and the Greater Southeast Management District. As a symbol of the UH commitment to the revitalization of the area, the Institute serves as the headquarters for the coordination of UH outreach activities in Third Ward.

The new building occupies a formerly residential lot between campus and the Third Ward neighborhood. The building’s massing and materials relate to the UH palette while respecting the size and scale of the adjacent residential structures. The new facility includes large and small meeting rooms, outdoor gathering space, and ACES’ administrative offices.

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Advancing Community Engagement and Services Institute