Sunday, November 23, 2003

Regents Approve Dining Facility Name

The Board of Regents approved SouthPaw as the name for the new south campus dining facility on Friday (Nov. 21) during its meeting at SHSU, reports Today@Sam. SouthPaw is scheduled to be completed Dec. 2 and to open in the spring.

A random panel of students, faculty and staff recommended the name of the facility, to be approved by the regents, after Residence Life opened a contest for student submissions. The top three choices, out of 174 proposed names that were voted on electronically, included “Bearkat Café", "Eat ‘em up Kafe" and "SouthPaw."

The winning proposal was submitted by three students: Andy DiMambro, Jason Plotkin and Kara-Lea Roberts. Those students will receive $100 Bearkat Express, divided between the three.

The other two finalists, Barbara Roberts and Jessica Gallow, will each receive $50 Bearkat Express.

Friday, November 21, 2003

November 2003 Regents Report

The Texas State University System Board of Regents held their regular quarterly meeting, according to Today@Sam:
...the regents tabled a motion concerning a name change for Angelo State University. Proponents of the change to Texas State University-San Angelo said it would give them an advantage in marketing to potential students by including both the state and city name, neither of which is in the present name.

A number of individuals from various constituent groups of Sam Houston State University were interested in the regents' action and whether it might signal a move to change other system schools to generic names such as Texas State University-San Marcos.

The regents held a similar discussion and heard testimony on the proposed name change for the former Southwest Texas State University in February 2002, also during a meeting on the SHSU campus, and also tabled a motion regarding that proposed change. The name was later changed through action by a state legislator.

In other Sam Houston State University business, the regents awarded a contract to Turner Construction Company of Houston for a $6.25 million 37,000-feet Recreation Center Building addition to the Health and Kinesiology Center. Construction on the new facility, which will include a new weight room, climbing wall, and multi-purpose room and pool, will begin in January with completion in the spring 2005.

A contract was also awarded to SpawGlass Construction Corp. of Houston for the $8.3 million Smith-Hutson Business Building Addition, with construction also expected to begin in January and completion also in spring 2005. The new 46,781 square feet facility will have 14 new classrooms and 41 faculty offices.

The expenditure of $674,792 for the first phase of a campus-wide card access system was also approved. The new system using card access technology rather than old style locks and keys is expected to provide better security for students in its first phase, and later for all employees if the second phase is implemented.

A contract for installation of the new technology in university housing units could be awarded in January, with completion by the fall 2004 semester. The Bearkat OneCard, which was issued beginning this past summer, has the capability to be programmed for card access equipment.

Also approved were a $1.6 million renovation of Estill Hall, which will be done during the upcoming summer and fall semesters in time for the dorm's use in spring 2005, and offering of Master of Education and Master of Arts with major in Instructional Leadership distance learning degree programs.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Houstonian: Fraternity House To Be Built On Fraternity Row

The Nov. 13 edition of the Houstonian tells of new activity coming to the land east of main campus:
"A hidden room behind the walls with limited access for secret rituals," is only one of the amenities that will be in the new $800,000, two-story, 8,000 sq. ft., Delta Tau Delta house, located at 287 Bearkat Boulevard, behind the prison cemetery.

"The university told us that they wanted us to come in closer to the campus," said James Fewell, Delta Tau Delta President. The fraternity was the "first national recognized fraternity," on our campus. "We were the first ones here, under the name of the 'Esquires'," said Fewell. The old Delta Tau Delta house was located about three miles out of town, and was lived in since the late 70's.

Delta Tau Delta's new home is a part of the reemergence of the "Fraternity Row," that stood on our campus from the 60's through the 80's, located by present day Pritchett Field. "We are hoping to have a 'Fraternity Row,' just like the quadrangle that I lived in when I was here in the 60's." It was a wonderful experience to live amongst fellow fraternities, said [Dr. Robert Roush, Immediate Past President of Delta Tau Delta International]. "We would love to have that atmosphere again."

The city of Huntsville already approved the new 'Fraternity Row' and divided it into five plots, said Fewell. "We bought the first plot of over 2 acres of land, and it is already paid for in full." The house is scheduled to be built and ready to move in by 2005.

Houstonian: New residence hall to open doors next fall

A new parking garage will be built on campus, but it will be underground of the new residence hall called Sam Houston Village.

Located on the northwest end of campus across from Jackson-Shaver, Sam Houston Village will be the newest addition to apartment housing on campus. This new facility is set to open Fall of 2004 and will accommodate 546 freshmen only.

New services will be available for this new apartment housing. The garage built directly below the facility will be reserved only for the students living in the residence hall.

Houstonian: Three names chosen for South-side dining

From the Houstonian:
Bearkat Café, Eat 'em up Kafé, and SouthPaw have been chose as finalists for the naming of the campus' new south-side dining facility.

The students who submitted these names are Barbara Roberts (Eat 'em up Kafé), Andy DiMambro, Jessica Gallow, Jason Plotkin (Bearkat Café), and Kara-Lea Roberts (SouthPaw).

"(The facility is on) the south side of campus and I figured that since the main food court is called the Paw Print, why not call it SouthPaw," said Kara-Lea Roberts. "I figured it's a little more creative than Café Belvin."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Houstonian: Garage opens; permit prices decrease

From the Houstonian:
The newly built parking garage opened Monday (November 10) and allowed students to park in their pre-paid spot, or browse the lot for a space.

The parking permits for personal spots in the garage originally cost $400 but now cost $200 for faculty, staff and students. Colonel Culak of the university police department said prices were lowered because of the amount of time that was left in the fall semester. The garage was supposed to open in October, but since it opened later than expected, the prices have been reduced. If students wish to get a parking permit, they will have to pay $200 and the permit will last until the end of the spring semester.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Houstonian: Gaertner focuses on positive changes at SHSU

Reporter Stephen Payne writes in today's Houstonian that President Gaertner's recently-released biannual column deals with general information about the school and statistics about the student body:
The fall enrollment has increased for the past five consecutive....

SHSU is the 12th largest among the 36 four-year state universities in Texas in the third largest university system in the state. Gaertner said the minority enrollment at SHSU is slightly lower than the state average.

The total annual budget for the last academic year was $146 million. State appropriation makes up only 35.6 percent of the school's budget. Gaertner said the rest is raised through tuition, fees, grants, gifts and auxiliary activities. The percentage will drop to 34.3 this year, with the indications that state appropriations to higher education will continue to decrease in the future.

Gaertner added that in order to make up for the lost revenue, the university will take advantage of the recent tuition deregulation and pass the cost of operations on to the student consumer to remain as competitive as possible.

Houstonian: Questions answered about yearbooks

Three days...I mean six years...later, the Alcalde is resurrected.

From the Houstonian:
The new yearbook staff has many challenges ahead of them in the upcoming months.

The long laborious process of collecting information and pictures has begun and proves to be slower than predicted.
The biggest challenge for the staff is to highlight the last six years without the yearbook.

"The yearbook will have a segment on parchment paper that will tell about the past six years," [Alcalde advisor Patsy] Ziegler said. "We could use help from students, faculty and staff to provide information about the past six years. We are looking through archives, old Houstonian's and Today @ Sam."

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Houstonian: Students name new dining facility

From the Houstonian:
The students of Sam Houston State University can name the new dining facility and win as much as $100 in bearkat express points.

Dana L. Grant, assistant director for finance and marketing from the department of residence life said, "Since we have a new dining facility on campus, upper administration wanted the students to name it. They gave us the make it into a contest." The contest is similar to a previous contest held in the early 90's in which the student body named Tater's n Stuff located in the Paw Print, Grant said.

Grant also added that many of the entries so far have either Bearkat or Sammy in the name but there is nothing in particular that we are looking for, its totally up to the students.

The new diner is scheduled to open in January and faculty and staff may also participate in the contest.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Houstonian: The Bearkat then and now

Today’s issue of the Houstonian discusses the history of Sammy Bearkat:
In the late 19th Century, college campuses began to introduce mascots to sports teams. Often these mascots were real animals, although most colleges abandoned this practice due to the high cost of caring for the animals. Real animals were soon replaced by people in animal costumes, a tradition that still continues to this day in most different levels of sports.

In 1923, Sam Houston State Teacher's College chose "The Bearkat" as the nickname for all the school's teams. The actual bearkat is the South American kinkajou, though it was probably not the basis for the animal that the school had in mind, which was actually a fictional creature that derived from a local saying "tough as a Bearkat." Despite this, SHSU did briefly have a live kinkajou as a mascot in the early 1950s, but quickly returned it to the wild when it did not adjust to captivity.

Houstonian: Professor studies trees on campus

Here's news of an interesting project started by Dennis Williams in the biology department: identifying every tree on the SHSU campus:
"The project was started to develop a manual for one of Dr. Williams lab classes," said Lauren Grawey, a senior majoring in environmental science who assisted Williams in this ongoing project. "The manual allows students to look at a tree and be able to identify it." The information provided by the manual is not limited to just the type of tree, but also the genus, species and more.

"We have identified every tree on campus," Grawey said. There are 950 trees on campus. As additional aspect of the project, Williams and Grawey plotted a Global Positioning System (GPS) point for every tree with a hand held receiver. They then measured the diameter of the tree and logged this information into the receiver.

"Physical Plant wanted the manual to help them," Grawey said. The manual would allow Physical Plant to identify trees in a situation where there might be a disease. For example, if a few pine trees get a disease in a particular area, Physical Plant can use the manual to find where the other pine trees are located and protect them from the same disease.

Pine trees are the majority of the trees on campus.

The manual has been completed, however it has not been distributed yet. "We need to bind the manual," said Grawey.

The manuals will be given to Physical Plant, Williams and Grawey. The manuals will also be available in the library.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Houstonian: Professors estimate KSHUs listening audience

The Houstonian has an interesting article about geography professors calculating the listening audience of 90.5 The Kat (KSHU-FM), housed in the Rather Communication Building.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Houstonian: Donation sparks new recreation for students

From the Houstonian:
A $6.5 million HKC renovation and a university campground on 345 acres of land topped the agenda during the SGA meeting Tuesday night.

"These are two projects that are geared toward the students," said Dean Keith Jenkins, director of recreational sports.

The construction of the addition to the HKC will begin in December 2003 and will take 12 months to complete. The new recreational sports building will encompass a 10,000 square foot weight room, two new pools and a climbing wall and boulder.

Dean Jenkins also showed the proposed plan for a university campground to the SGA body. The campground will be located 10 minutes away from campus in Riverside.

"In 1989 the Board of Regents voted for the campground, and we have had student organizations ask for a place to retreat," said Jenkins. He said, the price of the campground varies from the degree of facilities the SHSU student body wants out there.

"It just depends on how much we want to do. The sky is the limit. The price could range from one dollar to a couple million."

The land was donated to SHSU a couple of years ago by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "The school is not paying anything to maintain it now."

The plans for the campground include a clear water pond, outdoor pavilion, ropes and challenges course, dorm-like housing, boat launches, outdoor tennis courts and a Native American Cultural Center. "A lot of details have not yet been worked out."

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Houstonian: Kirkley Floods

The Houstonian reports that the ground floor of Kirkley Hall flooded recently and some of the students affected were less than impressed with Residence Life’s response.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Houstonian: Signs point to clearer path

From the Houstonian:
Students attending SHSU this fall will notice a multitude of new signs surrounding the campus concerning directions and parking.

John McCroskey, the Physical Plant assistant director for facilities and construction, said the total cost of the project is about $500,000, which includes design, construction and installation of the signs. The project was financed through the university's General Use Fee Fund and took approximately six months to complete. Construction was handled by Intex United, which is based out of Houston.

McCroskey said the school sought to replace the old signs in order to enhance the campus's appearance. "Partly because we were trying to improve the image of the college to make it more attractive to new students," McCroskey said. He said the old signs, which were brown with white lettering, were boring and contained inaccurate information about the buildings. The goal of the new signs is to improve finding one's way around campus.

Along with the new signs, the university will also be installing three new entrance gateways made of stone and wrought iron beginning on September 15. The main gateway will be at the corner of Bowers Blvd. and Sam Houston Avenue, with the secondary gateways at Sycamore Lane and Bowers Blvd. and Montgomery Road and Bearkat Village. The cost of the new entrance ways is included in the price for the new signage.

Houstonian: Broken pipe sends Bearkat Village residents to University Hotel

From the Houstonian:
Three apartments flooded at Bearkat Village I last Wednesday. Of the three apartments, only one bedroom in each unit was affected. Ron Pettitt, Facilities Manager at SHSU, said Friday, "a pipe broke and got carpet wet in three apartments." Pettitt further explained that the pipe ran through the walls next to the affected apartments.

Pettitt said the cause of the pipe breaking is simply "one of those things with new construction." He said the contractor, C.F. Jordan, was repairing the apartments on Friday. They will have to replace the carpet in the apartment and sheetrock in the three bedrooms.

The three students whose apartments were flooded are staying at the University Hotel while the repairs are being made.

The primary maintenance issues with Bearkat village has been plumbing problems. "We've had some problems, most of them seem to be plumbing," JoEllen Tipton, Director of Resident Life, said.

Houstonian: Garage to open mid-October

From the Houstonian:
With four stories, 490 available spots (100 of which are open for reservation), and a tentative opening date of mid-October, the new parking garage is nearing completion with hopes of alleviating a portion of the growing parking problem.

"It will provide parking for students who would prefer to have covered parking and I think that it will help students who only need to park on campus for a few hours of class each day," said John McCrosky, assistant director for facilities and construction.
The use of bonds provided financing for the construction with the intent of parking fees paying off the debt, though it may take quite a while for it to all be paid off. "We hope to have it paid off in 20 years or so," said John McCrosky, assistant director for facilities and construction.

Major construction began last spring and is expected to be completed mid-month, though McCrosky mentioned some loose ends needing to be tied up such as striping the spaces. "In addition to the 490 spots in the garage we are also looking at putting in an addition 45 new spots in the area right next to the garage," said McCrosky.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

August 2003 Regents Report

Today@Sam has the details of what  the Texas State University System Board of regents approved during their regular quarterly meeting held in Alpine:
  • Employment of Courtney Harper & Partners of Houston as consultants for a $1.6 million renovation of Estill Hall;
  • Employment of E&C Engineers and Consultants of Houston for a $1.9 million expansion of cooling capacity of the East Central Plant;
  • Preliminary plans prepared by HMA Consulting, Inc. of Bryan, for a $1.5 million electronic card access system for exterior doors on major buildings and residence halls;
  • Purchase of an almost one-half acre piece of property near the University Health Center for parking.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Item: Construction Projects on Pace

Of note in the recent edition of the Item:
  • Construction work on Bearkat Village I and II, which began in early December, is expected to be complete in July. The apartment-like housing, located on Montgomery Road, will give the university about 500 additional spaces for students, said Joellen Newman Tipton, director of residence life. Although construction is scheduled for completion in July, the apartments will be prepared for new residents in early August, said Doug Greening, physical plant director.
  • Construction for a parking garage is also under way and officials expect it to be complete by early August. The parking garage, which is located behind the Lowman Student Center, will include about 450 parking spaces and will be directed by the SHSU University Police. Officials are unsure how much parking fees at the garage will be, said Dennis Culak, assistant director of the SHSU University Police. However, officials are hoping to reserve 100 parking spaces for contract parking for faculty and students. The cost for those spots could be $400 for the spring and fall semesters, Culak said. Those who also need parking for the summer would be charged $450, or $100 for the summer only.
  • Construction for freshman housing facilities at Sam Houston Avenue and 17th Street are slowly under way as well. The block of land which currently houses Zach's Bar and Grill, Quarter's, and Taboo Tattoo, was acquired in mid-April. All businesses currently located on the block of land will be demolished for the housing. The apartment-style housing facility, to be named Sam Houston Village, is expected to have 530 to 540 beds. It is expected to be complete by August 2004.
  • Jackson-Shaver, a co-ed dormitory located on the corner of 17th Street and Sam Houston Avenue, will be closed until January for heating and air conditioning repairs. In addition, cosmetic changes including painting, carpeting and minor bathroom repairs will be made.
  • SHSU will also begin a major sign replacement project within the next month which will help direct the flow of traffic across the campus. The sign project should be complete by the end of summer.
  • An estimated 5,000 square-foot dining hall, to be located on the south side of the SHSU campus, will also be an addition in the next year. The new dining hall is expected to include food from Subway, Pizza Hut and Java City Coffee. Construction for the project should begin in October or November, but doors are not expected to open until spring.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

In Memoriam: Elliott T. Bowers

Elliott Bowers, the ninth president of Sam Houston State University, died May 30, 2003 in Huntsville.

Bowers served as president from 1970 until his retirement in 1989. Major facilities completed under his administration included the Teacher Education Center, Johnson Coliseum, University Theatre Center, Beto Criminal Justice Center, Rather Communication Building, Drain Academic Building and mall, the Health and Physical Education Building, Bearkat Stadium and field house, and the Music Building.

Bearkat Stadium was renamed Bowers Stadium in his honor and the street that runs just south of it was named Bowers Boulevard. He was also honored with the title president emeritus when he retired.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Today@Sam: Alum Group Seeks Organ Restoration Funds

The Sam Houston State University Alumni Association is seeking donations to restore an 1894 MP Moller, Inc., organ that is being stored in the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

Preliminary estimates range between $40,000 and $50,000 for the restoration, which would include refabricating and replacing pieces of the organ and reassembling it, according to Mac Woodward, curator of collections at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

The organ was originally purchased to be installed in the Old Main Building and not only is significant to the university, but has historical significance as well. "Old Main had an assembly room upstairs on the top floor, like a big auditorium room, and the organ was installed in that. So, it was the first organ installed in an academic building west of the Mississippi River," Nolan said.

After the area in Old Main was needed for other purposes, the organ was moved to St. Stephens Episcopal Church and subsequently moved to the museum. The organ resided in the west wing until the area was redone.

Friday, May 9, 2003

May 2003 Regents Report

Sam Houston State University's board of regents approved preliminary plans for $30 million in construction projects this week during their regular quarterly meeting, according to Today@Sam:
The largest of the four construction projects is an $18 million 60,000 square feet science facility that was first planned as an addition to the present Farrington Building, but which is now planned for the corner of Ave. J and Bowers Boulevard. The new facility will house the chemistry and forensic science programs, while physics will remain in the Farrington Building. Construction is expected to begin in about February 2004 with completion in late spring of 2005. Under the approved plans prepared by Watkins Hamilton Ross Architects, Inc. of Houston, the first floor of the Farrington Building will also be renovated. The second and third floor Farrington renovations will be deferred until funds become available.

The regents also approved preliminary plans prepared by F&S Partners of Dallas for the $6.7 million Recreational Sports Building to be attached to the present Health and Kinesiology Building.

"The construction of a new Recreational Sports building is one of the more exciting new facilities in the planning process for our campus in that it will impact so many students who are involved in intramurals and fitness activities," said Keith Jenkins, assistant dean of students. "It will create a whole new dynamic use of the existing facility let alone the new features."

The building will include a 10,000 square feet open area weight room complete with free weights, cardio, and circuit workout machines. Another feature of the new facility will be a heated pool. The existing outdoor swimming pool will be removed. he pool will be designed so that lap swimming and aquatic programming can take place simultaneously. The lap pool will have four lanes with a length of 25 yards and a separate body of water will be used for programs such as water aerobics and innertube water polo. The swimming facility will be covered but will be designed so that the sides can be removed during the summer months. Completing the design will be a sun deck and a separate covered area for socials.

Sam Houston State had an indoor pool for many years, located in the basement of the Lowman Student Center. However, it had continuous equipment breakdowns and was not popular because of the lack of outside exposure. That pool area was converted into a ballroom in the recent student center renovation.

"Attaching the new facility to the existing Health and Kinesiology Building will offer a complete recreational facility for the student body and the entire university community," said Jenkins.

"In 1989 when the student body voted to establish a designated recreation fee, the construction of this type of facility was one of the most requested projects for student use," he said. "The reason being is that the most popular non academic student program on campus was experiencing phenomenal growth and overcrowding in the HKC. Under Dr. Gaertner's leadership, the dream is about to become a reality."

Construction is expected to begin in early 2004 with completion in about one year.

Approval of the preliminary plans drawn up by LAN/Leo A. Daly architects of Houston for the new $4 million baseball and softball facilities means that night games can be played at Sam Houston, which is expected to be a boost for both programs.

Additional features of the new complex to be built east of Bowers Stadium include offices for baseball and softball coaches, an indoor practice facility and weight room, dressing rooms, concessions stands, restrooms, and press box.

The preliminary plans call for seating for 1,000 for baseball and 400 for softball. Construction could begin in the late fall with completion prior to the 2005 baseball season. The new baseball/softball complex represents an improvement in the facilities for both sports, according to Bobby Williams, SHSU athletic director.

The current baseball and softball fields are located away from the main campus. In addition to their lack of lighting, they have no dressing rooms and minimal press box, concession, and rest room facilities.  Gaertner has announced that the new project will also be known as Holleman Field, the name of the present baseball field, in honor of long time SHSU administrator Dewitte Holleman.

The regents also awarded a construction contract to Stephens Construction Services of Texas City for the $1.4 million addition to the Teacher Education Center. The 7,100 square feet addition will provide space for a counseling clinic and offices for the university's new doctorate in counselor education.

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Houstonian: SGA visits Austin

From the Houstonian:
The Student Government Association traveled to Austin April 27-28 to bring attention to the issues of the name changes, affirmative action and deregulation of tuition practices, along with several other issues, with various politicians.

One of the main issues the 21 members discussed was the Senate Bill 928, which concerns the possibility of the name change for many universities in Texas. The students spoke with Texas State University System Chancellor Lamar Urbanovsky, who SGA Secretary Jason Plotkin said is opposed to the name change. Despite the opposition, it seems unlikely SHSU's name will stay the same if Southwest Texas State University receives a name change.

"In order to make all schools in the system equal, all names in the system would have to change," Plotkin said.

Plotkin said in the event of the name change, Southwest Texas would become the de facto flagship school in the system because "perception is major," and most people would perceive the school as the flagship

"We're a unique system in the fact that there is no flagship," Plotkin said. "The chancellor did say that if there was a name change, the names of Lamar and Sam Houston would stay intact one way or another because of their historical namesakes."

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Houstonian: Raven Nest set to open Thursday

From the Houstonian:
The new Raven Nest Golf Course was recently completed. The first tournament at the course, the First National Bank Master's Challenge, was held on April 25 and the course is scheduled to open to the public Thursday. The 7,001-yard course is located at 457 Interstate 45 South in Huntsville and it is designed for golfers of all skill levels.

On the first hole, the green tee is 430 yards away from the hole, the white tee is 450 yards, the blue tee is 515 yards and the black tee is 536 yards away.

In order to successfully master the first hole, the Raven Nest Web site says, "The key to playing the hole rests on a straight tee shot avoiding Robinson Creek which parallels the hole on the entire right side. Long hitters will have an opportunity to go for the green in two shots with a normal prevailing wind coming from behind the player."

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Houstonian: SHSU buys property along 17th Street

From the Houstonian:
Sam Houston State University officials are moving forward with a plan to develop a freshmen-housing facility on the corner block of Sam Houston Avenue and 17th Street after purchasing the property on April 15.

SHSU officials have discussed purchasing properties on this block for the past few months with a real estate company.

Huntsville area businesses, which will be affected by the property purchases are, Zach's Bar and Grill Restaurant, Quarter's Sports Bar, and Taboo Tattoo.

"We now own the block," [Jack] Parker [SHSU vice president of Finance and Operations] said. "(The housing) is going to be for freshmen use; for construction of freshmen housing very similar to the White Hall (housing facility)."

The undisclosed amount was determined with the approval of The Texas State University System Board of Regents and the Higher Education Coordinating Board with the approval from two appraisals, he said.

The university housing fund balance funded the new housing development that is expected to be in operation by fall 2004.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Board makes decision on name change

From the Houstonian:
With all the attention surrounding Southwest Texas State University's possible name change, Bearkats can sleep easy knowing Sam Houston State University will keep its name.

University President James Gaertner announced Wednesday that the consideration to change the name of Sam Houston State University to Texas State University - Sam Houston, was declined by the Texas State Board of Regents.

The Regents met by telephone conference call to consider possible action concerning the bill to change the name of Southwest Texas State University to: Texas State University - San Marcos. The system presidents also participated in the call.

"There was quite a bit of sentiment out there," Gaertner said. "The Board of Regents are smart people and they made the right decision. The Regents knew I was strongly opposed to a change. Students, faculty, alumni and staff were opposed to a change so I'm glad nothing changed."

Gaertner thanked people both on and off campus who provided him with their concerns about the possible name change.

"I was able to pass along that information on, and it was considered during the Regents' deliberations," he said in his e-mail to the university community. "In my judgment, we did what we truly considered to be in the best interest of Sam Houston State, and I deeply appreciate your efforts and support."

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Houstonian: Playing the name game

From the Houstonian:
If a Senate Bill to change the name of Southwest Texas State University to Texas State University at San Marcos is passed, the name of Sam Houston State University and other universities in the Texas State University System might also be changed.

Texas State Sen. Jeff Wentworth filed a bill with the Senate of Texas on March 6 at the request of Southwest Texas State University's Associated Student Government. A press release from Wentworth's office stated if Senate Bill 928 passes, it would be effective Sept. 1.

SHSU President James Gaertner said if the current bill begins to get serious consideration out of committee, then the Board of Regents in our Texas State University System would meet to discuss the possibility of not only changing the name of Southwest Texas State University, but also changing the names of other system schools.

"If that would pass the Board of Regents, we don't know what form that would take, maybe it would pass that all (universities in the system) would change their name, maybe it would pass that only those who want to will change its name, so we don't know what form that will take and we are really dealing in speculation," Gaertner said. "Then there would be a proposed amendment to the bill in the way that the Regents voted and then that bill will be considered for law."

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Jackson-Shaver to Receive Face-lift

From the Houstonian:
The Jackson-Shaver residence hall will be closed for a restoration process during the fall 2003 semester and is expected to reopen in the spring of 2004.

"(Jackson-Shaver) is going to close in May after everyone moves out and it will be closed down for the fall, and then all the renovations should be complete for it to be back online in January," said Joellen Tipton, director of Residence Life.

Residents of Jackson-Shaver were allowed a couple of days in advance of renewal week to choose where they wanted to live in the fall semester.

"(Residents) are (reserving a room) right now during renewal week, and they were given a couple of days ahead of time if they wanted to choose where to go to, such as Bearkat Village and the new apartments. They basically get first run at that since they are being displaced because of the renovation," Tipton said.

The makeover for the Jackson-Shaver Hall will consist of a new air conditioning and heating system, fresh paint and new carpet in the public areas and new tile floors in the student rooms.

"The biggest task for (renovating Jackson-Shaver) will be the whole H-Vac system, the air conditioning and heating system is getting completely revamped," she said. "This involves a lot of engineering, and then they are going to give the hall some cosmetic changes."

Several other housing renovations will take place in the 2003 to 2004 academic year also.

Renovations such as painting student rooms, hallways, public areas and new carpet in public areas will be changes made to the Barrett, Parkhill, Randel, and Vick Houses.

During the summer of 2003, renovations will occur in Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Zeta Tau Alpha, Gibbs, and Rachel Jackson houses with new heating and cooling systems, fresh paint for the student room, new carpet in public areas and new vinyl tile in the student rooms. The Anne Shaver and Houston Houses will also receive a heating and cooling system renovation.

Houstonian: Dining facility 'zones' out 68 spaces in commuter lot

From the Houstonian:
A new dining facility scheduled to be built inside the student parking lot in front of the Estill Building will provide dining on the south side of the campus.

Associate Vice President for Finance and Operations Jacque Gilliam said...the location was chosen by the chancellor of the Board of Regents, and will feature a Pizza Hut, Montagues and Java City along with a restaurant called Home Zone that will sell boxed lunches to accommodate students with board plan dining arrangements.

Vice President of Finance and Operations Jack Parker said the university has been planning the new facility for a while.

"We took it to the Board of Regents last year and it formally approved for construction the contract award Feb. 27 or 28 during the quarterly meeting," Parker said.

The new facility will be 5,000 square feet and include kitchen, dining and storage areas, and will have outside dining tables.

Gilliam said rumors that the new facility would be in the former White Hall cafeteria are inaccurate and were "never in the plans." She said it would be inefficient since all the pipes had been removed from the facility and that the room would have to be renovated.

Gilliam also said White Hall's cafeteria and most other dining areas like the Paw Print are underground, and that the university wants to have something more open and visible to the public.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Houstonian: Plans set for facility additions

From the Houstonian:
Two SHSU departments are planning to add new sections to their buildings beginning in 2003 and 2004.

The College of Business Administration is planning to create a new addition to the Smith-Hutson Business Building that will roughly double its existing workspace.

R. Dean Lewis, dean of the College of Business Administration, said the construction would extend to the parking lot south of the building, and create new faculty offices and classroom space. A new auditorium that will hold 158 people will also be added next to the existing Ronald P. Mafrige Auditorium.

"We have faculty in three buildings; we have classrooms in two," Lewis said. "We're out of space; that's why we're getting the additions."

The Smith-Hutson Building currently has 45,000 square feet of workspace, but the construction will add an additional 42,000 square feet. The project will cost approximately $38.5 million, and should begin next year.

"It's expected to start by January of '04," Lewis said. "We should be in the building by fall '05."

The College of Business Administration originally planned to renovate the existing building, but after consulting the projected growth estimates for the college, decided new space was needed.

Also scheduled for renovation is the Teacher Education Center, which will have a new wing added to help accommodate facilities for a new doctorate program in counseling education now offered by SHSU.

The funds for the project came from a fund designated for construction purposes. [Dean of the College of Education and Applied Science Genevieve]Brown said the project is still in a bid process, but that construction will probably begin in late spring and the new facility won't be operable before spring 2004.

The new extension will head out towards Johnson Coliseum. Brown said the college's new wing would help expand the amount of clinical help the college provides to the Huntsville community.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Alums Donate Funds for Garden Clock

Today@Sam reprints a recent Item article about the College Station alumnus who recently donated $30,000 to fund the purchase of a large clock to be located in the new Alumni Garden area.

The garden is located near the Marks Administration Building and the Lowman Student Center. Officials hope the clock will be complete and dedicated by November.

When Ruth and Ron Blatchley received an alumni garden brochure in the mail last year, it sparked their interest to purchase a $5,000 granite bench for the garden, said Kevin Hayes, director of alumni relations. When the idea of a clock for the garden was mentioned, the Blatchleys were even more interested, he said.

The Blatchleys decided the clock would be an appropriate donation and a way to give back to the university. Ron received his bachelor's degree from SHSU in 1968 and received a master's degree in physical education in 1969.

The SHSU Alumni Association is hoping to gain a bell tower for the alumni plaza area as well. However, officials are searching for a donor who would provide funds for the purchase of the $100,000 tower.

Ronny Carroll, an alumni board member and Houston resident, proposed that a bell tower be created in the alumni area. The proposed bell tower would be near the alumni fountain and would have similar architectural features of Old Main, the second oldest building on the SHSU campus, which was destroyed by a fire. The tower would also be the new location of the university chimes which ring every hour.

Officials say they hope the bell tower will be in place by 2004, which marks the 125th year of SHSU. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Houstonian: Regents say 'no' to name change, 'yes' to housing fee increases

From the Houstonian:
The Texas State University System Board of Regents voted Friday on several issues recommended by Sam Houston State University President James F. Gaertner.

The Student Advisory Board, a group of presidents and delegates from schools in the Texas State University System, recently met and voted 14-2 against the changing of Southwest Texas State University's name to Texas State University at San Marcos.

Helena L. Banks, SHSU's Student Government Association president, said all the schools represented at the meeting voted against the change, except for SWT.
Preliminary plans for an $8.3 million addition to the Smith-Hutson Building, the renovation of Jackson Shaver Hall and construction of a 5,000 square feet dining facility were approved.

Also, a $1.45 million renovation project Sorority Hill area and a $600,000 renovation of the second and third floors of the Estill Classroom Building were approved. It was also approved that $545,000 in repairs would be made to the roofs of the Evans Building, Academic Buildings I and III, East Central Plant and Smith-Hutson Business Building.

Friday, February 28, 2003

Today@Sam: Regents Approve Fees, Projects

A summer study program in Ireland, progress on projects totaling almost $15 million, agreements with two community colleges, and room and board increases were approved Friday by Sam Houston State University's board of regents. The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved the recommendations of James F. Gaertner, Sam Houston State University president, during a regular quarterly meeting on the campus of Southwest Texas State University.

Preliminary plans for an addition to the Smith-Hutson Business Building, with an estimated cost of $8.3 million, were approved. College of Business Administration operations are now in three different locations. The college has grown 40 percent in the past five years and expects an additional growth of 4 percent per year for the next 10 years.

Also approved were two projects expected to cost $2 million each--the renovation of Jackson Shaver Hall and construction of a 5,000 square feet dining facility on the south end of the university campus.

Jackson Shaver Hall was built in 1938 and last renovated in 1989. The building will be out of service from the 2003 summer terms through the 2003 fall semester, and back in use for the 2004 spring semester.

The dining facility contract was awarded to Stephen's Construction Services of Texas City. The new facility will offer meal plans as well as franchised fast foods on the south side of the campus, which now has no food service facility.

The board also authorized a process in which bids could be taken and a low bid awarded for a $1.45 million renovation project on the eight cooperative residence halls on what is known as Sorority Hill, without a full vote of the board. The accelerated schedule will enable the work to be done this summer and completed in time for the 2003 fall semester.

Two smaller projects, a $600,000 renovation of the second and third floors of the Estill Classroom Building for use by the purchasing, human resources, registrar's and payroll offices, and $545,000 in repairs to the roofs of five campus buildings, were also approved. The roof work will be done on the Evans Building, Academic Buildings 1 and III, East Central Plant, and Smith-Hutson Business Building.

The Estill project was awarded to J&M Constructing Co. of Huntsville and the roof work to A. D. Willis Company, Inc. of Austin.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

White Hall To Become Freshman-Only Facility In Fall

From the Houstonian:
Residents in the White Hall dormitory received a form letter from the Department of Residence Life on Feb. 18 stating that upperclassmen would be required to move out of White Hall and into Bearkat Village I and II for the 2003-2004 academic year.

Bearkat Village I and II is Sam Houston State University's newest housing facility located on the corner of Montgomery Road and Bowers Boulevard.

White Hall is currently a coed residence hall reserved for students of sophomore classification or higher. White Hall is located near the south end of campus, next to the Health and Kinesiology Center.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Old Main: 21 years later

From the Houstonian:
The Pit is all that remains of the Old Main Building, which was destroyed by a fire 21 years ago. The building, built in 1889,was only the second constructed on campus. The fire, which occured on Feb. 12, 1982, was started by an electrical shortage caused by faulty wiring in the building's attic.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

History Department Honors Olson With Dedication Ceremony, Events

From the Houstonian:
In honor of his 31 years of service to Sam Houston State University, history professor James S. Olson will be recognized with several upcoming events.  The SHSU history department is sponsoring various activities that will take place Thursday and Friday on campus and in the Huntsville community.

Following the speech by Distinguished Lecturer Peter Hammond Liddle, the new auditorium in Academic Building Four will be officially dedicated in Olson's name during a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday. Following the dedication of the new auditorium, a reception for Olson will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 19th Street. The history department has extended an open invitation for community members to attend the reception beginning at 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Houstonian: Construction on schedule

From the Houstonian:
The construction of the Bearkat Village apartments is still underway and expected to be completed for the fall semester.

The new apartment buildings, named Bearkat Village I and Bearkat Village II, will be located at the intersection of Montgomery Road and Bowers Boulevard across from Bowers Stadium.

John McCroskey, assistant director of Physical Plant, said the project is on schedule and is now 15 percent complete. One of the problems that arose during construction was the discovery of an unusual soil condition at the site of the future apartments. McCroskey said the soil had to be replaced with a more choice soil, but the switch did not affect the timetable.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Clock to be Added to Alumni Garden After Alumnus Donation

From the Houstonian:
As a way to give back to his alma mater, Ron Blachley, of College Station, donated $30,000 to the SHSU Alumni Association, which will used to purchase a clock to be placed in the recently constructed Alumni Garden. The donation came after Blachley and his wife became interested in purchasing a $5,000 bench to be placed in the garden.

The 16-foot, four-faced Howard clock will be placed in the center of garden. The letters S, A, and M will replace 11,12 and 1. The letters H, O, U, S, T, O, and N will replace 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 on the face of the clock.

[T]he clock should be completed by August 2003 and will likely be dedicated during next fall's Homecoming activities.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Newest Building Goes Online

From Today@Sam:
All of the groups who have moved into the recently completed Academic Building Four have made the transition smoothly and are ready for classes to begin, according to Physical Plant director Doug Greening.

The first floor of AB4 now houses the testing, Honors, and scholarship offices and has one honors classroom. The S.A.M. Center, Computer Services, a computer lab, a 286-seat auditorium and classrooms are located on the second floor.

The library science department, psychology and philosophy department office, and classrooms are now on the third floor, as well as psychology faculty offices. The history department and philosophy faculty offices are on the fourth floor. Though those groups are moved into the building, there are still a few minor "punch-list items" that have yet to be completed.

"The inside of the building is ready to go, except for a few minor touch-up things they are working on," Greening said, which include paint touch-ups and a leak in the roof on the interior.

The completion of the outside of the building is pending two ramps and some brick trim work on the exterior that could not be finished because the brick wasn't available at that time. Greening said it will be finished at a later date.

"They're finishing a ramp and a brick wall on the Academic Building 3 side of the building, and they will build a ramp between the building and Lee Drain," he said, adding that the ramps will be used to facilitate moving such things as equipment from building to building.

Now that those departments are moved out of their old spaces, other areas of campus will also be moving and other areas will be gaining more space. The area used by the psychology department in the Lee Drain Building will house doctoral students, at least temporarily, Greening said.

The space left in the basement of the Newton Gresham Library, where the library science department and the Academic Enrichment Center previously called home, will be "turned back over to the library," he added. Though just in the planning phases, the library is planning to use the space to add librarian offices and a conference room and expand the government documents section and computer technicians' offices. The music listening room will be moved there, as well as a combined Copy Room, microforms room and interlibrary loans, according to library business manager Jackie Conrad. In addition, the university archives will be moved from the Peabody Building to the fourth floor of the library due to the increased space.