Thursday, November 21, 2002

Academic Building 4 Opens Its Doors In Spring

From the Houstonian:
Over a year after construction began, SHSU's newest classroom building is nearing completion. Academic Building Four is on schedule to open its doors to students for the upcoming spring semester. The Board of Regents approved construction of the new building in August 1999 with a budget of $8.5 million. Although initially marked for completion in February 2002, construction met with unexpected problems causing crews to finish the work several months behind schedule. The new 61,070 square-foot building, located at the intersection of 20th Street and Avenue I, replaced five departmental dormitories that once housed students.

"The fact is we really needed the space," Physical Plant Director Douglas Greening said in an interview shortly after construction began. "Several of our departments are in temporary buildings and badly need a permanent home." The structure will serve as the new home of the history, library science and psychology departments as well as Student Advising and Mentoring Center.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Behind the Building: Smith-Kirkley Complex

Yet another article in the Houstonian’s long-running series about the buildings on campus; today we focus on Smith-Kirkley Hall.

Favorite line:
"The Kirkley and Smith buildings were both bought in 1959. Smith Hall was bought for $22,500 and Kirkley Hall was bought for $5,500. Both properties were pieced together to make the Smith-Kirkley complex. The fifth floor dormitory was occupied on 1961."

First, I always thought a “Smith-Kirkley Complex” was the name for the delusions one received from living in this dormitory. (This is a joke, albeit not the funniest I've ever written.)

Second, I’m utterly lost on how the two dorms were “both bought in 1959” (it reads as if the dorms were built by a third-party and later purchased by SHSU - sort of like the Colony Apartments). The 1962 Alcalde plainly shows Smith Hall prior to Kirkley’s construction. Perhaps the article meant the university purchased the land for the buildings in 1959? But then, to be fair, one wonders how old the photograph was? But why would the Alcalde show an outdated photograph as a representation of the current campus? And why do we really care?

Friday, November 8, 2002

Regents Approve Action on $30 Million in Projects

Action was taken on Sam Houston State University projects totaling almost $30 million during a meeting of the university's board of regents Friday in Beaumont.
  • Approval of preliminary plans prepared by Watkins Hamilton Ross Architects, Inc. of Houston for the $18 million renovation and addition to the Farrington Science Building, with work to start in September 2003 and completion scheduled for June 2005.
  • Employment of LAN/Leo A. Daly of Houston to design a baseball/softball, dressing room/athletic complex to be located between Bowers Stadium and Sycamore St. The project is expected to cost about $4 million, with construction expected to begin in September 2003 and completion in June 2005.
  • Employment of Courtney Harper & Partners of Houston to design the renovation of the eight residence halls known as Sorority Hill, with an estimated project cost of $1.2 million, and Jackson-Shaver Hall, with an estimated project cost of $2 million. The Sorority Hill work will be done in the summer of 2003, with Jackson Shaver out of service for the summer and fall.
  • Approval of preliminary plans for the south Campus dining facility as prepared by Brown Reynolds Watford Architects of College Station, for the $2 million project, with construction expected to begin in February 2003 and completion in October 2003.
  • Approval of preliminary plans for an addition to the Teacher Education Center, as prepared by PDG Architects of Houston, for the $1.25 million addition to house a counseling clinic and offices for a new doctorate in counseling education. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2003 with completion about July 2004.
  • Approval of preliminary plans for renovation of Gresham Library space, as prepared by Molina Walker Architects, Inc. of Houston, which will reconfigure the Learning Assistance Area for offices and archival material storage. The project estimated at $800,000 is expected to begin in June 2003 with completion in December 2003.
  • Award of a contract to Intex United of Houston for construction of campus signage, at a cost of $447,000, to begin in January 2003 and to be competed prior to the 2003 fall semester.

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Houstonian: Red tags mark campus trees to identify more than 30 species

From the Houstonian:
Students curious about the red tags on campus trees should wonder no more. The red tags are the result of an inventory on trees, in which 875 were observed and 32 different species were found on SHSU's main campus.

"The red tags will stay on the trees; we're going to keep them there until they rust," said Justin Williams, professor in biological sciences, who implemented the project.

The inventory began in early June 2002 and is now complete. Each tree was numbered, identified by species, measured by diameter and breast height and tagged. This was done to ensure future identification of each tree. This inventory was also made into a list that is available through the campus library, Williams said.

"First of all, they're beautiful; they add to property value and some of these trees are almost a hundred years old. They represent the age and integrity of the university," said Williams.

This is the first step in conserving SHSU's natural environment. Any future altering of SHSU main campus will now be aided with a campus map of its trees.

SHSU Physical Plant and the university office of Research and Sponsor Projects funded the inventory of trees through grants. The cost was an estimated $7,000, in which $2,000 was directly from the Physical Plant. It was implemented through the research help of Williams and graduate student Lauren Grawey.

The overall objective of the inventory was to make sure no one builds over these trees in the near future. Williams and Grawey's research also evaluated the overall health of the trees. The inventory suggested that 18 trees be removed from campus, while eight were in need of trimming.

Of the 32 different types of trees species located on campus, the most represented tree was the Slash Pine, which is not native to Walker County. Other trees found on campus include Live Oaks, Water Oaks, Shumard Oaks, Willow Oaks and Magnolias.

The research is available on the Internet, as well as throughout campus.