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.