Friday, August 25, 2006

State of the University Address

News from University President James Gaertner at the annual State of University address focused on future construction projects and a possible university name change:
"There is a chance in this next legislative session that there will be an effort to reconfigure the university systems in the state," Gaertner said. "If a reorganization takes place, the issue of the names of the schools in those systems would be in question, and there is a possibility that we would be called upon to change our name to, probably, Texas State University-Sam Houston."

Among the construction projects the university will be facing in the near future is a new Mall Area that will require the removal of the Wilson and Frels buildings, scheduled to begin sometime around December; a 143,000 square feet Academic Building V that will house the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as some business offices, in the parking lot behind the Smith-Hutson Building and is expected to begin in March; surface parking; and a Performing Arts Center that will be in the parking lot south of the Criminal Justice Center.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Two Parking Lots Short

Construction projects – some confirmed and others in the planning stages – will eliminate a number of prominent parking spaces over the next school year, as explained in this Houstonian article (Aug. 24):
The faculty parking lot in between the Frels-Wilson complex will be removed along with the buildings to allow for the expansion of the new student mall area. According to [Director of Public Relations, Frank] Krystyniak, this parking lot will be the first to be replaced and will be unavailable by the end of November.

The lot north of the Vick House is to be replaced by Academic Building V...the schedule for construction has not been started yet, but Krystyniak said the lot will not be available for use in late spring.

Another parking lot may be lost due to a new Performing Arts Center... if the building is approved, Krystyniak said that construction would probably start in the fall of 2007 and a parking lot will be lost to the project.

Even though the university may lose the lots this year, Physical Plant Director John McCrosky said that more parking lot locations are discussed when buildings replace them. "We try to plan for things," said McCrosky, "We always try to come up with space for additional parking lots."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Houstonian: Thumbs up, thumbs down on campus construction

Christi Laney takes a look at some of the campus construction projects in the August 22 edition of the Houstonian.

Well, I said the Visitors Center would be done over the summer. Boy, was I wrong:
The scheduled completion date for both Raven Village and the new Welcome and Visitor's Center was set for July 2006, according to the SHSU Physical Plant Web site. Yet when school began in late August, the Welcome Center still had not been completed.

[SHSU Facilities Planner John] McCrosky said a surge in construction in the area and a lack of materials served as the main hindrances to the project.

"The construction business is in full force right now, and we had a lot of supplies come in late. Our contractor also had trouble getting in all of his subcontractors on time," McCrosky said. "Now we're really just working on the finishes. We're planning on opening it Sept 1, but I can't promise anything."

When the main focus is getting students in on time, McCrosky said it is common to open buildings with minor projects still in progress. Even after a job is complete, contractors often must return to do warranty work.

"It's inevitable that they will eventually have to come back and work on something else anyways," McCrosky said. "There's very seldom nothing left to do on a new building when it opens up."

...but I did think Raven Village would be complete and it looks like I was almost there in my prognostications:
Despite the sharp smell of fresh paint and the sound of drills echoing down the halls, students who moved into Raven Village this past weekend still seemed ecstatic to be among the first in the new dorm.

While the building opened on schedule for students to move in, construction trailers in the parking lot and workers in the halls stood as proof that things still needed to be done.

"We're just working on some minor issues," SHSU Facilities Planner John McCrosky said. "We really gave the contractor an impossible schedule. The main thrust is just to get the students in the building, and we did that."

And a few comments on the athletic complex and the weight/conditioning facility, too:
Several projects this summer did rise from the dust to completion on time and on schedule. A new scoreboard at Bowers Stadium, featuring one of only two video screens in the Southland Conference, was completed in July while a new weight room erected especially for Bearkat athletes reached fruition as well.

The state-of-the-art weight training facility employs two strength and conditioning coaches and serves all 16 Bearkat sports teams. Currently, the football and women's soccer teams already use the facility for full-team workouts.

"We love it. There was still some fine-tuning to be done when we moved in, but we're very grateful to be in there," strength and conditioning coach Brian Wiseman said. "We just love it."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Item: Bearkat Mania kicks off Monday at SHSU

The August 21 Item gets a little confused between “Nest” and “Village.” Of course, there’s no point in getting "raven" mad about their typo – deal with it:
Raven Nest, apartment-style living on campus, opened up for upper-class students this year. Joellen Tipton, Director of Residence Life, said Raven Nest has been a big hit with students and said she has heard nothing but good things from the residents and staff.

Friday, August 18, 2006

GMH building luxury student housing in Texas

GMH Communities Trust said its College Park Communities division has completed the purchase of a site close to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where the company plans to build a 318-unit luxury student housing community.

GMH said it paid $1.8 million for 26 acres. The development will include 23 buildings.

The company (NYSE:GCT) expects to finish the first, 228-unit phase by fall 2007. The luxuries will include a fitness center, a movie theater and tanning beds. GMH of Newtown Square, Pa., is real estate investment trust that concentrates on student and military housing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The "Weight" is Over....

Staff began moving into the new strength and conditioning building today, located between Bowers Stadium and the Baseball Complex.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Change of Address

The campus post office is moving to a temporary location beginning today, August 1, located in front of Art Building A. Once moved, students will be able to pick up mail between 8:45 am and 4:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.