Howard Payne University Celebrates 125 Years of Street Closures and Keeping Students in Debt

Howard Payne University recently celebrated their 125 year anniversary of being in Brownwood by announcing plans to keep Brown County residents in debt for another 125 years. “Howard Payne University has been providing 4 years of education along with 40 years of debt for many generations,” shared HPU alumni Willie Paymor.

hpu gate
This gate at HPU blocks motorists from driving on a portion of Center Avenue. It could also slows the response time of both the fire and police departments.

The university is ranked as the 24th most expensive school in Texas according to the website Paymor mentioned that the university hopes to move up that list a few more spots. “I’ve been told that HPU is looking in to purchasing Austin Avenue from the city of Brownwood as well as the Bill Monroe Overpass. To afford that I’d be almost certain that tuition rates will skyrocket.” Paymor is referring to HPU’s purchase of a portion of Center Avenue many years ago. Supporters of the purchase argued that many of HPU’s students had trouble remembering the procedure of Stop, Look, and Listen before crossing. “Some of our freshmen would get confused, they would look, listen, then stop after they were already in the street. One got run over by a bicycle and another one actually walked in to the passenger side of a moving vehicle.”

HPU students have worried for years that Austin Avenue carries too much traffic near the university, and the overpass creates a dangerous situation as several Brownwood drivers have crashed in to the guardrails in past years. Due to HPU students needing to cross Austin Avenue to enjoy downtown Brownwood’s vibrant weekend night life, Paymor says it is vital to close the street. “We would like to see traffic diverted to Vine Street. Every weekend we see hundreds of people on the sidewalks of downtown Brownwood as they barhop and enjoy the many clubs and bars. It’s just too dangerous for our students to walk across Austin Avenue.”

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