Long gone, so long gone
Standing in the shadow, yea
Score 'twixt sun and sun
It is generally believed [Vice President of Appropriation] Hal Whenten first read about the property in a Houstonian article that appeared last December as part of the paper’s centennial celebration.
Though the city of Huntsville reportedly knew of no such property, Whenten reportedly attended a number of city council meetings earlier in the year to drum up support for the university’s pending bid.
Whenten’s memorable address during the last (March 18) Huntsville City Council meeting included his exposition on the tribulations of a land-locked campus and the delivery of “signed and notarized documents, prospective maps, and copies of government code regulations” as well as other ephemera that expounded on the university’s decision to acquire the land “at any cost” – be it through either purchase, condemnation, eminent domain, compulsory resumption, or subliminal persuasion techniques.
Andrew "Andy" T. McKinney, believed to be the landowner, has yet to come forward to confirm the status of his property.
Whenten apologized for the confusion when it was revealed the “McKinney Tract” was roughly a twelve acre parcel of land centralized around main campus – including a prominent sloping, grassy hill south of the current Estill Building – that the university has owned since April 1913.
Repairs to Academic Building IV are expected to be complete at the end of April following a single-car accident that killed three SHSU students in December.
According to Gordon Morrow, director of plant operations, the construction will total close to $70,000 with repairs needed to the brick foundation on the south side of the building. Construction is slated to begin in March.
The pillar that runs adjacent to the south-side stairwell suffered damage to the brick foundation, although Morrow said the structural integrity of the building did not suffer.
Alpha Building was awarded the contract for the construction of the building as well as repairs to windows and hand rails affected by the accident. Morrow said the university’s electrical shop is currently repairing a light pole that was damaged as well.
Morrow said ABIV will not shut down during construction and classes will not be affected.
Price Consulting Engineer Bruce Cummins inspected the damages to ABIV on Dec. 23-24, 2013, and said the brick that was affected was immediately removed from the building to ensure safety for students and workers. Currently, a fence encompasses the construction area to maintain safety for pedestrians and students from potential falling objects.
Patrick’s cousins, Willie and Richard Harrison, said he was the perfect person to be the first African-American integrated into SHSU...because of his charming personality and his high level of intelligence. “He was just an outstanding person. If Jackie Robinson was the perfect man to start integration in baseball, then John was the perfect man to begin the integration process at the university here in Huntsville,” Richard Harrison said Tuesday.
Patrick knew his integration in the college would open the door for other African-Americans, but he never thought of himself as a historical figure, according to Richard. As Patrick’s time at the school continued, his teachers and peers began to accept him as they realized that Patrick was an intelligent person with a likable personality.
Patrick graduated cum laude from SHSU and became a high school math teacher in Houston. Later, he moved on and taught in Galveston ISD.
SHSU is looking to move its Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) and Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) programs off campus to free up space on campus and to continue to evolve the university’s criminal justice program.
Al Hooten, SHSU Vice President of Finance and Operations feels it is a perfect situation since the criminal justice programs are running out of space on campus.
“The LEMIT and CMIT programs have outgrown their space and we can relocate them and provide them new space to help their program. It also opens up space on the main campus so that we can repurpose it to be a more academic space,” he said.
The construction of a hotel and conference center was also discussed. All of Huntsville will be able to use that building, not just the members of the criminal justice programs.
The focal points of the session revolved around how the planning company would go about making the new facilities feel like a university campus and how to make it look aesthetically pleasing, as well as how the facilities will affect the neighborhoods nearby and traffic.
The planning company showed drawings of how they are looking to place plenty of greenery around the new facilities and make the buildings look as modern as possible so that it not only looks appealing to the eye, but that it has the feel of a school campus.
The people who came to Wednesday’s meeting had plenty of questions for the planners, such as if food services will be included on the new campus, how much will traffic increase, if the city will need to build new water and sewage lines and how close the campus will be to the neighborhoods in the vicinity.
Another planning session, that will be open to the community, will be taking place on April 17 in the HEARTS Veterans Museum as well.
His door was always open to all, for, as he often said, “The college exists for the student and not the student for the college.” Students loved him...and never failed to give him a standing ovation at college assemblies. Returning the students’ affection, he said, “I had rather be President of Sam Houston State than President of the United States.”The final tribute paid to Dr. Lowman was in the fall of 1963 when the Board of Regents renamed the $1,800,000 student union building the Lowman Student Center:
This was the last building he secured for Sam Houston and many believe it thrilled his heart to know this long-nurtured dream of his had become a reality. ... Although the condition of his health never permitted his entry into the building, his love filled every inch of the interior and exterior.Lowman was buried in Huntsville’s Oakwood Cemetery.
The 2020 Master Plan for SHSU was approved by the Board of Regents in August 2008 and includes three phases—the first of which was planned to take six years making 2014 its final year. In 2012, the original 2008 plan was revised and adjusted to meet the needs of the campus and its growing student population.
According to [SHSU Director of Communications Julia] May, due to rapid enrollment growth between 2008 and 2012, many of the original plans had to be reevaluated and modified.
Over the last five years, Lone Star Hall was built as well as the construction of Old Main Market dining facility, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Gaertner Performing Arts Center. The demolition of Smith-Kirkley Hall and King Residence Hall resulted in the possibility for the expansion of the Lowman Student Center as well as additions to the Student Health and Counseling Center and the Events Center/Press Box at Bowers Stadium.
In addition, facilities off of the SHSU main campus have also undergone renovations including Gibbs Ranch, the University Camp, The Woodlands Center and the future research park.
The major projects still left to be completed before commencement onto phase two of the master plan is the construction of the Agricultural and Engineering Technology building, the Nursing/Biology building, a Shared Special Instruments building and the expansion of the Communications and Central Plant. A complete list of phase one projects can be found on pages 108-109 of the 2020 Campus Master Plan on the SHSU website.
According to an article written by the Houstonian in Fall 2013, several major projects could not begin construction because the Texas Legislature voted against raising the required funding through the issuance of revenue bonds.
The master plan also includes meeting ecological standards and continually looking for ways to improve parking on campus as well as sidewalks for the safety of both pedestrians and bikers.
Phase two is set to fan out over the next seven years and phase three is planned to begin in 2021.