Sam Houston State University will begin construction in October on the first of two structures on land deeded to the university last year by Lone Star College-Montgomery, the Houston Chronicle reported. The university is expected to break ground on a 750-space parking garage this October. Three months later, it will begin the construction of a $35 million, 100,000-plus-square-foot academic building. The new buildings, which cover seven acres of land, will take about 18-20 months to construct and be owned and funded by the university. They have been designed to blend in with the existing environment at Lone Star's Montgomery campus, which is located at 3200 College Park Drive, north of The Woodlands.
Dr. Dana Gibson, the new president of SHSU, told faculty and staff Thursday (Sept. 2) in her first-ever State of the University address that while budget cuts loom in the immediate future, she also sees “the need and the opportunity” to add new degree programs, build new facilities to house them and recruit more students. Today@Sam has some of the highlights, including:
Gibson said the top priorities for new facilities include biology, nursing and applied health, forensic sciences and the agriculture complex and building. In terms of new academic programs, Gibson said “we must continue to develop appropriate graduate and doctoral programs and emphasize research activity to emphasize our Carnegie Classification of Doctoral Research status and to develop more programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health.
“These programs are desperately needed by the state so state and research funds tend to follow them.” Gibson said she sees “tremendous opportunities” for enrollment and revenue growth in The Woodlands and in online course enrollments. “Graduate and non-traditional students will be key populations for The Woodlands campus.”
SHSU plans to begin construction on a new classroom buildings in The Woodlands near Lone Star College “later this calendar year.” SHSU is already serving hundreds of upper-division and graduate students in a classroom building it shares with Texas A&M University and Texas Southern University. “The Woodlands Campus will provide us with an increased ability to diversify our student population, which will help us through tough economic times and optimize our strength in better times,” Gibson said.