Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Today@Sam: Dan Rather to Return for 125th Anniversary Celebration

Dan Rather will return to Sam Houston State University April 16 to launch the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the school that helped launch his career more than a half century ago.

Rather, anchor and managing editor for the CBS Evening News, and correspondent for 60 Minutes II, will meet with students and speak at the 125th Anniversary President's Dinner and Concert.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Today@Sam: Governor Perry to Make SHSU 125th Anniversary Visit

Gov. Rick Perry will help Sam Houston State University celebrate its 125th anniversary April 21.

Perry has agreed to speak at a ceremony marking a historic event for the university--the signing of Sam Houston Normal Institute's charter document by Gov. Oran M. Roberts in 1879.

The ceremony will be held on the south side of Austin Hall (near the General Sam Houston statue) at 4:30 p.m., followed by a public reception.

Austin Hall is the oldest in-use educational facility west of the Mississippi. It was dedicated in 1851 with General Sam Houston in attendance, and bought by Huntsville citizens for use by Sam Houston Normal Institute, the first teacher-training institution in the Southwest.

"We are honored Governor Perry has agreed to join us for our 125th anniversary," said James F. Gaertner, SHSU president. "His presence will lend credibility to ceremony and validity to the history of the day."

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Parking on campus gets more complicated

Continuing construction leaves little room for parking, as reported in today’s Houstonian:
Students returning from a restful spring break may find their lives suddenly more hectic when they discover more than 200 parking spaces on campus have vanished.

Beginning on March 22, construction will block off part of the parking lot southwest of Avenue J and Bowers Blvd. for the building of the new science complex. The parking lot, currently the second largest green permit lot on campus, recently had a temporary Barnes and Noble store at the location where the new building will be located.

The new project marks the latest new construction effort that will offer more teaching facilities at the cost of parking spaces. [Colonel Dennis Culak, assistant director of the university's public safety services,] said that construction near White Hall ended up costing nearly half of the spaces for the Health and Kinesiology Center.

Along with students, Culak added that faculty and staff also have complained about loss of their parking spaces with construction behind the Smith-Hutson Business Building.

The cost of the new science facility will be $18 million, and the complex will feature 60,000 square feet of workspace. The new building will house the chemistry and forensic science programs, with physics remaining in the Farrington Building.

John McCroskey, the assistant director for facilities and construction, said the new complex will take up even more spaces than what was lost when the Barnes and Noble store was located at that spot. He said the location was chosen due to its proximity to the existing science building.

"There was no other location adjacent to the Farrington Building," McCroskey said.

The project is being funded by a tuition revenue bond authorized by the Texas State Legislature, and construction will begin by mid-April. The facility will be built by the Houston office of Bartlett-Cocke General Contractors. McCroskey said the construction site will be closed following spring break to avoid any parking issues leading up to the start of the project.

"If we don't block the lot off now, we'll never get all the cars out of there," he said. He expects the building to be completed by December of 2005.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Today@Sam: South Paw Makes Grand Opening

The South Paw dining facility, which began operation on Feb. 9, made its grand opening on March 3 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included SHSU administrators, staff and students, as well as members of the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce. The hours of the facility, which houses Home Zone, Java City, Pizza Hut Express and Subway, are: Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Regents approve reorganization, rate increases

Information from the recent Board of Regents meeting in today’s Houstonian:

From the Houstonian:
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 a $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.