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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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Around Huntsville

The Huntsville Item notes the growth around the SHSU as #6 in the top 10 Stories of 2010:
Among the milestones the university celebrated this year: a new president, Dana Gibson, who has said she intends to continue policies and programs initiated by James Gaertner; an increase in campus and online enrollment, growth on its satellite campuses in The Woodlands and Tomball; a basketball team that won the Southland Conference championship, and the grand opening of a performing arts center for its new College of Fine Arts and Mass Communications.

SHSU also has been stepping up its game in research and development as well. In 2010, SHSU patented a potentially life-saving wastewater treatment purification process that university officials hope will save millions of lives.

It also managed to raise $62 million in funds during its first ever Capital Campaign, exceeding its goal of $50 million.
The Hometown USA series of the Los Angeles Times features Huntsville:
The prison system is one of the biggest employers in Huntsville (note to the unemployed: they're hiring), and practically everyone in town falls within a couple degrees of separation from someone who makes a living at a prison.

Still, many bristle at how death row has shaped the identity of Huntsville to outsiders. They point to Sam Houston State University, which has about 17,000 students, and the school's namesake, who was governor when Texas became a state and president when it was a republic.
Also, some information about the containment of Town Creek :
For years now, the City of Huntsville has had staff and City Council members brainstorming on a plan to fix Town Creek drainage issues. A newly received grant may be able to kick-start the process of replacing areas of the Town Creek drainage system that are currently old railroad cars that are rusting and falling apart.

“There are places where it has flooded so much we’re getting holes in the roads,” she said. “Back in the ‘60s, Town Creek was open. They decided to put in decommissioned railroad tanker cars and they welded them together and used rubber from old tires to seal them. Now, they’re starting to rust out.”

Areas along Bearkat Boulevard by the university are well-known in Huntsville as places to avoid during heavy rainfall because of flooding.

“You get one inch of rain and Bearkat floods,” McKibben said. “That’s the problem right there in a nutshell. Every time it does that, it messes with the roads and then we have to go fix the roads.”

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Memories: Kappa Delta Sorority House

Tamberly wrote us recently to pass along some memories of her time in the old Kappa Delta Sorority House, renamed the Houston House c. 1995:
I was a member of Kappa Delta and lived in the KD house in 1989-90, room 215, just over the front door. When I lived in the house, it was beautifully decorated, with deep plush dark green carpet (as our colors were dark green and pearl white), beautiful couches and wingback chairs, big screen TV, baby grand piano, china hutch and a study hall where the kitchen was.

When the university took over all food services, KD lost the house mother/cook that was loved by many.

At the landing on the stairwell, our sorority crest was painted on the wall. I so wish I had a photo of it. We had swinging shutter doors that closed off the living quarters hall from the main part of the house. No boys allowed past the shutter doors.

I thought I had a photo of the KD letters that were attached to the outside wall of the house but I cannot locate it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Northside Hall Named “Lone Star”

The December 2 edition of the Houstonian announces that the new north-side residence hall scheduled to open for the Fall 2011 semester will be known henceforth as Lone Star Hall:
The name of the new building was decided on by students who participated in a campus-wide online vote that included four prospective names, all of which were pre-approved by President Dana Gibson.
This student-naming trend follows similar campaigns used for Raven Village and the SouthPaw Dining Hall.  The article also mentioned that Sam Houston Village and Raven Village will open to all student classifications for the next school year:
There will no longer be any all-freshman dorms with the exception of both Vick and Randel houses, which are designated for the freshmen Bearkat Learning Community. Several reasons account for this change, Joellen Tipton, Director of Residence Life, said.
"We realized, over the years, that a large building housing only freshmen doesn't work for building a community. Freshmen are more rowdy, and there tends to be more vandalism and wear-and-tear on the rooms," she said. Tipton also said that living in Sam Houston Village isolates freshman socially because they are less likely to interact with other students on campus or attend on-campus events.