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, January 23, 2013

SHSU Discusses Location for Food Pantry

An interesting piece from Tuesday's (Jan. 22) Houstonian about finding a location for the on-campus food pantry:

The pantry is adopting a student organization model, which will allow students to be in charge of its actions and provisions.

Vice President for Student Services Frank Parker said the program has received support from both students and school faculty. Parker expressed support for the program in late December, while the faculty senate has backed the pantry since its inception.

“Space on this campus is at a premium,” said Parker. “When we look at spaces, some of the issues that we think about are spaces that retain [a student’s] anonymity, spaces where students come and go and that are available and open on the weekend.”

While the committee talked about specific venues on campus for the pantry, they failed to comment on which facilities were in mind.

“I think it would be disrespectful to the people responsible for those sights to say anything more specific before we talk to them,” said Parker.

The pantry was created for students who are unable to afford balanced meals and provide volunteer and networking opportunities for students.  It received approval as a new student organization in October 2012, and hopes to be available to students by Fall 2013. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Student Health and Counseling Center Plans Underway

Plans for the new Student Health and Counseling Center are underway according to yesterday's Houstonian:
The team met Jan. 9 to explain to the potential architects and contractors the bidding process. The architects and contractors have to submit documentation talking about previous projects that they have done and how they can contribute to the project.

The construction management team met Wednesday and looked through what people have submitted to see what their qualifications are, according to SHC director Sarah Hanel.

Hanel said on Jan. 25 the university will meet and announce the short list of companies they would like a presentation from and an opportunity to interview. By Feb. 7 the interviews will be complete and the most qualified contracting and architectural company will be selected on Feb. 8.

Jan. 25 they plan to break ground at the old King Hall location. This is across the street from their current location.

"A lot of the Health Centers traffic comes from new Lone Star Hall and a lot of the freshman dorms surrounding us as well as Old Main Market," according to Hanel.

The estimated breaking of ground is in October of this year and the building is hoped to be finished in the summer of 2014.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013-14 Residence Life Changes

The Department of Residence Life has announced housing changes for the 2013-14 academic year. The biggest change is that beginning in Fall 2013, all first year students in the Bearkat Learning Community will live on the 4th floor of Raven Village. The BLC began in Fall 2001 and moved to Randel and Vick houses in Fall 2002. Those two houses will now be open for all classifications.

Elsewhere, academic areas – which offer 24 hour quiet areas to encourage a study environment - include the ground floor of Belvin Hall, the 3rd of Elliott Hall, or, for honors students, Spivey House.

Finally, scheduled summer repairs include:
  • Elliott Hall: interior painting
  • Estill and Jackson-Shaver halls: addressable smoke alarms in resident rooms
  • Estill Hall: fire sprinkler system
  • Shaver, Gibbs, Houston, and Jackson houses: carpet in public areas
  • Bearkat Village: cameras in clubhouse and laundry rooms

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

SHSU Research Park Idea Retooled

SHSU has hired a director for a planned research park that could bring new jobs — and other forms of economic development — into the city, reports the Huntsville Item.
Terry Stokes started work in November at SHSU, tasked with developing a master plan for a research park that might house criminal justice-related technology programs.

Stokes said he’s in the process of reviewing previous proposals for sites of the planned park, which include a 200-acre plot of land on Ellisor Road and Highway 19 in Walker County, about 8 miles from the main SHSU campus. About 160 acres of the site would have been donated to the university by the D’Agostino family. At full build-out, the complex would have included, according to developer plans, a full-service hotel and other private tenants.

But consideration of this site became controversial last summer when the Huntsville City Council began to consider commitment of $2 million in providing utility infrastructure to the site, which borders the city’s sewage treatment plant, and annexation of the site and land between it and the city limits. The Ellisor Road site has recently been advertised for sale.

Citizens who spoke out against annexation and using tax funds to build utility lines to the site were critical of its suitability, based on its distance from the city, its access from a two-lane highway and its close proximity to a sewage treatment plant

Critics also pointed to other sites along Interstate 45 near existing utility infrastructure and with immediate access to I-45. SHSU officials postponed public discussion of the Ellisor Road site after acknowledging that the city’s draft hotel study had identified superior sites along I-45.

Master planning efforts will yield details Stokes said he doesn’t yet have — such as what sites might be considered, the total anticipated project cost from site acquisition to completion, the types of programs to be housed at the park, and whether new jobs will be created for Walker County’s existing workforce.