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The Buildings of Sam Houston State University documents the changes of the SHSU campus in Huntsville, Texas from its inception in 1879 through tomorrow. The Brick and Mortarboard presents news and commentary about the buildings, the people, and the history of SHSU. Stay informed and impress your friends.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breaking Ground on University Center

The Houstonian reports SHSU broke ground for its new University Center on Friday, October 22: "The new University Center building will be a four-story, 144,164 sq. ft.-structure that will include classrooms, labs, enrollment counseling and advising and administrative services, as well as a parking lot and a five-story parking garage."

SHSU shares the current University Center in the Woodlands with the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, the Lone Star College System and the private sector. "The only difference [with the new building] will be that we will own this building," Richard Elgsaer, Ph.D., associate provost, said.

The Woodlands Villager News adds the $40 million building will be on seven acres adjacent to the LSC-University Center. The acreage was deeded to SHSU by LSCS with the agreement that LSCS can use 50 percent of the classrooms and free parking from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the next 10 years. Then SHSU will allow LSCS to use 25 percent of its classrooms and parking for free for the following 10 years.

The Conroe Courier News reported October 16 that SHSU's construction site will put a close to the existing childcare facility at Lone Star College-Montgomery. That facility is closing December 17. “Unfortunately, the land best suited for [the SHSU] expansion is where the childcare center is,” said Steve Scheffler, LSC-Montgomery dean of college relations. “We’re working on a plan to continue providing child care for our students, just not at that location.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remembering SHSU: James Pharaon

James Pharaon is a 1998 graduate of Sam Houston State University. For three years beginning in 1995 he portrayed campus mascot, Sammy Bearkat, and was responsible for the re-imaging of the character in the late-1990s. He currently is the Senior Creative Designer for Germania Insurance where he works on advertising, graphics, and brand strategy. James still gets in freelance work on the side, including illustrations of Sammy for the university.

Memories: Sam Houston Apartments

Ken Hestand (’57) shares some more memories of Huntsville - specifically of the Sam Houston Apartments (1945-81):
After I was married in 1957, my wife and I rented efficiency apartment #202 in the Sam Houston married housing complex. The apartment was a one-room efficiency. As you entered the room, a kitchenette was on the left and the right wall was bookcases and closets, with the double bed pushed into the closet wall halfway to form a sofa during the day and pulled out for a bed at night. A tiny bath was in the southeast corner of the room, behind the kitchenette.

The entrance to the apartment building was from Avenue J [western side]. There was a wide sidewalk from the entrance into the center of the building on Avenue J that ran through both courts. The courts, as I remember had little or no landscaping. There were only two stories that I recall. Our apartment was on the southwest corner. There were no windows facing Avenue J, There were double windows on the south side of the apartment. From there, we could see the gym [AB3] slightly south of us, across the street. A tornado struck Huntsville in the spring of 1957. As we were looking out toward the gym, all the exterior doors we could see popped open - and they were not easy to open ordinarily. There were a few broken windows, but I don't recall any serious damage.

All the apartments were accessed from inside the courtyards. There were several staircases inside a walkway all the way around the interior courtyard, as best I remember. Our door was on the north side of our apartment, opposite the windows.

The apartments opened into a walkway all the way around the courts. An opening in the center of the west side of the front courtyard allowed access to the east courtyard.

Monday, October 4, 2010

SHSU To Formally Dedicate Starr Theatre

Today@Sam reports that the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage Theatre will officially be designated as the Erica Starr Theatre during an unveiling ceremony on October 9. The theatre is named for the late Erica Starr Czerwinski (1979-1999), a theatre major who was killed by a drunk driver.

Scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. with an unveiling of the outdoor signage, the dedication will include comments by Jaimie Hebert, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dana Nicolay, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Penny Hasekoester, theatre department chair; and the Czerwinskis.