Sunday, February 29, 2004

Today@Sam: Science Building To Take Parking Spaces

While parking is still available on the Sam Houston State University campus, it is not as convenient as it once was, and it is getting scarcer with each new construction project.

This is the word from Dennis Culak, assistant director for the university's public safety services division. Culak said that some students returning from spring break March 22 might find their favorite parking spaces have become part of a new science building.

A portion of the parking lot southwest of Ave. J. and Bowers Blvd., near the new SouthPaw campus dining facility, will be used for the new $18 million, 60,000-square-feet facility. The new facility will house the chemistry and forensic science programs, while physics will remain in the Farrington Building. Completion is expected by late spring of 2005.

Culak said that the Bowers Stadium parking lot has the capacity to provide the needed spaces, and that some students may opt for the new parking garage if they are on campus for a short time. Rates in the parking garage, located just north of the Lowman Student Center, are $2 for the first hour and $1 per hour for each hour after that to a maximum of $8 per 24 hours. Contract spaces are available for $200 per semester.

Culak also suggested that visitors attending fine arts and other events in that area should consider the garage. Additional faculty and staff parking is almost always available in the lot east of the library, he said.

Friday, February 27, 2004

February 2004 Regents Report

Sam Houston State University's regents did their homework for their regular quarterly meeting this week in Beaumont on the three Rs--reorganization, renovations, and rate increases.  Or so said Today@Sam.

In business relating to facilities, the regents authorized an approval process for the $1.6 million renovation of the Estill Hall dormitory that will allow work to begin in May with completion prior to the 2005 spring semester. The board's chairman and either vice chairman or local committee chairman were authorized to award the construction contract, which is usually done by the board as a whole. Design work was not completed in time for that to happen at this week's meeting.

The board did award a contract to Bartlett Cocke General Contractors of San Antonio for an $18 million renovation to the present Farrington Building and construction of a new 61,732-square-foot science building. The new facility will house the chemistry and forensic science programs, while physics will remain in the Farrington Building. Completion is expected by late spring of 2005.

Also approved was the addition of an $1.2 million auditorium for the Smith-Hutson Business Building expansion. A planned auditorium was eliminated from the bidding process when it was thought that it would be too costly. After lower than expected bids were received, it was determined that the auditorium could be included.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Today@Sam: Plans Made to Celebrate Four Historical Occasions

The Walker County Historical Commission, Sam Houston Memorial Museum and the Sam Houston Statue and Visitors’ Center will host a day of activities in honor of four historical occasions on March 2.

The day, which marks Gen. Sam Houston’s birthday, Texas Independence Day Texas Flag Day and Walker County Pioneer Day, will begin with coffee and a reception at Gibbs Powel House Museum, at 1228 11th St., from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m. a group of students, faculty member and administrators, band members, and others interested in continuing the traditional march to the Sam Houston grave will assemble at the Old Main Memorial area.

James Patton, county clerk and long time Huntsville historian, said that Sam Houston Normal Institute students began such marches in 1889, carrying United States and Texas flags. "This tradition continued through the years, with the president of Sam Houston leading the way in an open automobile through about 1966," Patton said. "In 1981, the Walker County Historical Commission renewed this old tradition and broadened the event."