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, August 27, 2011

Sam Houston Village only half occupied due to repairs

The Huntsville Item reports that Sam Houston Village is undergoing renovations during the Fall 2011 semester:
Only half the residents who usually occupy Sam Houston Village were able to move in last week before the start of classes on Wednesday [August 24]. Part of the dorm has been closed as work is being done on the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system and the parking garage. Work is set to begin on Sept. 1 and be completed by Aug. 1, just in time for students to move in for the fall 2012 semester. [The dorm] will be shut down completely for the spring semester when students leave for the Christmas break. That will allow construction crews to finish the project so the dorm will be ready for the fall.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Goodbye Cafe Belvin, Hello Old Main Market

The Houstonian [Aug. 25] discusses the new 32,000 sq ft, 600-seating dining facility, Old Main Market:
[It] boasts nine different food stations, each with unique options readily available for the average student.

Old Main Market is a part of Aramark's Fresh Food Company, which is designed to "meet the needs and preferences of today's students, faculty and staff that are looking to balance their health, wellness and lifestyle goals."

The facility opened at the beginning of August.

"This new facility is a great example of honoring our past as the university continues its outstanding progress," University President Dana Gibson said. "The Old Main Market name pays homage to the past in a facility that provides our students a next generation dining experience. "

The nine stations include the International Grille; the Mediterranean Grille, which offers hot dishes made on its round, flat, open grill; the Comfort Station, which serves traditional comfort foods; the brick oven, which serves pizza, calzones and baked pastas; a bakery / dessert Station; a produce market / deli and a 24-hour breakfast station, featuring waffles, omelets and cereal.
The headline mentions Cafe Belvin but the article does not - especially since the new facility actually replaces the decades-old Belvin eatery (i.e. Belvin's not an additional eating option - it's entirely closed). President Gibson's comment of the new dining hall serving as a "great example of honoring our past" also seems out of context unless one understands the significance of Old Main, also not mentioned in the article.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 2011 Regents Report

Today@Sam has a run-down of the capital improvement projects discussed by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, the governing body of SHSU; these include:

Approvals:
  • Design development documents presented by Ford, Power and Carson, Architects and Planners, Inc., of San Antonio, for the restoration of Austin Hall, with a budget of $2.2 million. The project will totally funded by the Higher Education Assistance Fund, a capital funding source provided by the state constitution.
  • Purchase of 2.75 acres located at 2208 Avenue I. Said, President Dana Gibson, “This property will be used for future campus expansion and parking according to the master plan. The property’s location is between the edge of the west campus and Sam South where University Police and Facilities Maintenance offices are located, as well as being adjacent to Raven Village. If it is not acquired, the university could potentially be blocked from growth of the campus to the west and become landlocked.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Memoriam: Ronald Mafrige

Alumnus and campus promoter Ronald Mafrige died Sunday, August 14 in Houston. He was 73.

A 1960 graduate of SHSTC, Mafrige served in the U.S. Army, remaining in the Army Reserves for 14 years and achieving the rank of Major before retiring. In 1968, he formed what would become Ron Mafrige Enterprises, Inc. of Houston. He was later honored by his alma mater as Distinguished Alumnus (1997), Service Award recipient (2004), and named to the College of Business Administration Hall of Honor (2006).

For his support to many SHSU programs and endowments, Mafrige’s name graces an auditorium in the Smith-Hutson Business Administration Building and the field house adjacent to Bowers Stadium. In 2005, he provided $250,000 to make possible construction of the 11,000 square foot Randleman Strength and Fitness Building. In 2008, Mafrige donated $40,000 to build the 20-foot-tall statute of General Sam Houston that stands in central campus that honors fellow SHSU alums M.B. Etheredge (the country’s highest decorated surviving soldier of World War II) and the statue’s sculptor, David Adickes.

You can share your thoughts and memories of Mafridge at KatFans.

More: Longtime SHSU donor Ron Mafrige dead at 73 (Item)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Time Capsule: August 12, 1861

On this date 150 years ago, Harry Fishburne Estill was born in Lexington, Virginia. The son of Charles Patrick Estill and Katherine (Fishburne), Harry was born in Rockbridge County and within seven miles from where Sam Houston was born sixty-eight years before.

The Estill family arrived in Texas in 1869 and settled in Washington County. In 1880, the year Harry graduated from the first class at Sam Houston Normal Institute, Charles was named a professor at Texas A&M. Charles came to Huntsville the following year but died after teaching one year. Harry succeeded his father in 1882, eventually rising to vice president of SHNI beginning in 1898.

Harry Estill was named President of SHNI in August, 1908. As president he introduced new programs of study and extracurricular activities, promoted the creation of the Alcalde (1910) and Houstonian (1913), upgraded faculty numbers and preparations, and obtained professional academic accreditation for the school. In 1923 he oversaw the school’s transition into Sam Houston State Teachers College.

Estill helped appropriate funds for a new three-story library, dedicated in 1930, that was named in his honor.  He and his wife, Loulie Sexton, had five children.  Harry died in 1942 and is buried in Huntsville's Oakwood Cemetery.

Writing in 1940, Dr. T.U. Taylor, the first engineering faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin as well as a graduate of SHNI’s first class of 1880, wrote of his fellow classmate:
Harry Fishburne Estill early impressed the class with the fact that he was always prepared on his lessons, was as regular as clockwork, straight-forward, square, and a student thirsting for knowledge. The writer of these lines has been a friend of Harry Estill since October 10, 1879, over sixty years. He has spent sixty years teaching in the schools of Texas, and the writer wishes to bear tribute to his contribution to Texas' civilization.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Old Main Market Preview Video

Step inside the Old Main Market dining hall as Raven Films takes us on tour of the “fresh foods concept.” The new eatery, located on the north side of campus at the intersection of Bearkat Boulevard and University Avenue, opened last week.




You can discuss the new "restaurant experience" at the KatFans forum.