Demolition of Richmond Apartments and Adjacent Structures To Begin

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The SHSU Physical Plant reports [Oct. 25] that in preparation for the upcoming new residential facility and parking lot on the south campus, demolition of the former Richmond Apartments and nearby structures on SHSU property will begin "during the next 10 days":
Construction traffic including large trucks can be anticipated along Avenue J and Avenue I south of 21st street. Demolition work is projected to be completed by late February or earlier.
The Richmond Apartment One and Two complex was reportedly constructed in 1968 and consisted of 8 two-story garden-style apartment buildings: 83 rented units plus a 3-room leasing office. Amenities included a laundry facility and swimming pool and storage building(s). The demolition project includes nine brick structures, three wood structures, and four concrete slabs.

Art Walk, Gallery To Bring SHSU Art Culture To Downtown

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News at Today@Sam regarding the Student Art Association's third annual Art Walk in downtown Huntsville plus a new gallery space:
During the Art Walk event, artwork installations will transform several old storefront windows of the historic Avon Theater/McAdams Dry Goods Store, located at 1215 Sam Houston Ave., where the exhibit reception will be on Friday night (Nov. 15).

Building upon this growing interest, the art department will go a step further in bringing its work into the community by opening a new, off-campus Gaddis Geeslin Satellite Gallery, an extension of the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery on campus. Slated to open early in the spring, the 1,450-square-foot-gallery will be located in the downtown square area, at 1216 University Ave.

The Satellite Gallery project began when art faculty and students recognized the need for more exhibit space.

SHSU Sues Contractors For Sam Houston Village Damages

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SHSU Sues Contractors For Sam Houston Village Damages
This week the Houstonian reported that SHSU filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Walker County Civil Court against contractor and property developer American Campus Communities and its subsidiaries seeking more than $9 million in damages to the decade-old Sam Houston Village (SHV) dormitory:
SHSU is claiming that damages from ineffective and faulty waterproofing along with improperly supported cement foundation and problems with heating and cooling systems of SHV have cost it millions through repair costs, inability to rent rooms, among other factors, according to court documents.

During a post-construction inspection, the Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. of engineers, architects and material scientists found suspicious points around the perimeter of SHV leading to the belief that the waterproofing could be faulty.

During the following months and rainy seasons several spots of water leakage arouse leading to cracks in numerous corners of walls.

The seepage and cracks resulted in SHSU having to hire another company to reinforce and re-waterproof the erring walls of SHV. The lawsuit alleges that American Campus Communities and their subcontractors refused to make repairs.

WJE returned in November 2010 to investigate the parking structure at SHV and found multiple cracks in the podiums and columns throughout the foundational structure and concluded them to be caused by forces derived from Hurricane Ike's winds.

ACC and its subsidiaries have denied any and all responsibilities for the damages, according to court documents it filed in the case.

Company attorneys claim that all responsibility for any problems resulting from construction of SHV are the responsibility of subcontractors Capstone Building Corporation, Jaster-Quitanilla & Associates, HBC Engineering, N/K/A Terracon, Craycroft Price Architects, Craycroft McElroy Hendryx Architects, CAI, and the owners John Thomas Craycroft and Don H. Price.

University Hotel Making Adjustments After Alarming Fire Report

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University Hotel Making Adjustments After Alarming Fire Report
The Houstonian reports that the University Hotel had nine fire safety problems identified in a State Fire Marshal audit from February, according to Steve Shields, Director of Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management. Five issues have been fixed and the last two have been scheduled and funded:
One problem that has yet to be fixed is the fire alarm system. According to the report, the fire alarm system in the hotel is inadequate and does not have the required detection devices and alarm placement. The current alarm can’t be heard in all of the rooms, and there is no visual notification devices for the hearing impaired in the public areas. Also, the sprinkler system will not activate the building fire alarm upon activation.

Another problem that hasn't been fixed yet is the lack of self-closing devices installed in the doors separating the Criminal Justice building from the Hotel. This may lead to a potential fire to jump to the other building, the audit noted. This will be fixed by June 1, 2014, according to the updated audit.

Five problems that have been fixed were completed since the February inspection include a large quantity of combustible items stored in the unfinished basement area of the hotel.
Other minor issues elsewhere on campus were found at White Hall, Belvin-Buchanan, Sam Houston Village, Gibbs Ranch House, the CJ center Dormitories, and Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Chi Omega, Sigma and Zeta sorority houses.

LSC Expansion Land Used As Field Until Further Funding Found

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LSC Expansion Land Used As Field Until Further Funding Found
The Houstonian reports that the former site of Smith-Kirkley Hall - land to be used for expanding the Lowman Student Center - will be used a field until funds can be collected:
Construction to level out the area behind [the] Lowman Student Center (LSC) will create an outdoor field intended for use by students and organizations, according to Daniel McDaniel, LSC director.  “The idea for the area is that maybe we could bring the Sam Jam carnival here, Greek life events, and other outdoor student activities,” McDaniel said. “Right now, the only other outdoor places students really have to go are the intramural fields and the Farrington pit.”

Although the field will be used by students over the course of the next few years, it is only a temporary void until funding for the LSC expansion comes through. Once that happens, the LSC will be expanded and take place of the field.

Construction will cost approximately $30,000 and should be completed by the end of October.

2014 SHSU Construction Projects On Track

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Tuesday's Houstonian [Oct. 1] reveals that SHSU officials are confident that the Texas State University System Capital Improvements program remains on schedule despite the inability of the Texas Legislature to pass tuition revenue bonds to fund said projects:
Designs for the 2,400 square-foot Sycamore Vivarium, awarded to the JT Vaughn Construction Company, will begin in late 2013.  The building will serve as a shell space for future expansions for Biological Sciences, according to Denise Neu, director of facilities planning and construction. Neu said the $1.5 million project is being paid for in TSUS bonds, which have not been awarded yet.

The demolition of Allen, Adams, Parkhill, and Barrett houses is scheduled for fall 2014 to make way for a new nursing and biology building. The TSUS program details allocate additional [Higher Education Assistance Funds, HEAF] funding for the construction.

Bowers Stadium is scheduled for improvements to its west side in 2015. This project includes new concessions and restrooms, a gift shop and Athletic Memorabilia display, club seating and enhanced game day operations, according to Neu. This project will cost $20 million, and the athletics department is currently starting a fundraising campaign to fund it.