Monday, December 18, 2006

Farewell to Frels, Wilson

Today@Sam: Work is well under way toward removal of the Wilson and Frels dorms from the center of the SHSU campus. On Monday a piece of heavy machinery sorted through what was left of Wilson. Frels is scheduled for the same fate in the next few days.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Museum Complex Cabin Comes With Famous Name

Daniel Boone's log cabin is being restored at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum complex on the Sam Houston State University campus.

Actually, the cabin was built about 1848 by Daniel Boone Guerrant, a pioneer Walker County settler. It was located about 11 miles out of Huntsville, near the west fork of the San Jacinto River, and moved to the museum grounds in the spring of 2004.

The museum recently received a donation of $1,248.34 from the Texas Society, Children of the American Revolution, to be applied toward the project's expense, which is expected to run about $25,000.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Item: Report targets SHSU, downtown

Stewart Smith
Staff Reporter
December 01, 2006 11:58 pm


Judging by the input from consultants, Sam Houston State University and Huntsville’s downtown will be the epicenter of the city’s growth.

During Thursday evening’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee Expanded (CPAC(X)) meeting, consultants continued their declaration of the importance of downtown and the university as vital resources for economic development and as driving forces behind transportation improvements and modifications.

Tom Stellman, president and CEO of Austin-based consulting firm TIP Strategies, described SHSU as “an economic priority.”

“We’re not telling you anything you probably don’t already know, but it needs to be said. Having a university of the caliber of Sam Houston State ... is your biggest economic asset,” said Stellman.

Stellman said economic development leaders should support SHSU-generated entrepreneurship and recommended the development of a university/business alliance that would leverage university faculty and institutional expertise in assisting existing employers, startups and entrepreneurs in Huntsville.

Stellman also recommended creating job placement programs for current students and recent graduates to find local career options in an effort to retain and attract the university’s alumni population.

As for downtown, Stellman recommended it become established as an entertainment and cultural district, capitalizing on downtown’s “authenticity” to set it apart from other communities.

He also suggested downtown be promoted as a destination for business services and even entrepreneurial startups.

“View the downtown as your business park, in a sense,” Stellman said. “Sell it as a destination for folks who are going to bring in and employ people.”

As for transportation, Gary Mitchell, a principal with Kendig Keast Collaborative Inc., began his discussion of transportation strategies with the eyebrow-raising statement that traffic is a “good thing.”

“We’ve worked in a lot of communities that would love to have the traffic and parking problems that you have,” Mitchell said, indicating that said problems are representative of a growing community.

However, with traffic and parking comes the burden of finding ways to relieve them.

Several of these solutions, Mitchell said, are not going to be desirable.

“Take a look at 11th Street ... road widening, or in some other downtown areas, take out the parking so we can get more lanes and get rid of that conflict of cars pulling in and out,” Mitchell said. “TxDOT has recommended going to parallel parking versus angled parking.

“Some of these solutions are worse than the problem, so you’ve got that challenge also.”

However, Mitchell did say Huntsville is in decent shape in terms of overall traffic circulation but with a few specific “choke points” that need to be addressed.

A transit system and improved bike and pedestrian amenities was also recommended as a viable solution to traffic and parking congestion, especially because of the market demand created by university students.

Transportation, Mitchell said, also ties directly into other areas of the comprehensive plan such as economic development and land usage.

With downtown becoming more and more active with businesses and commerce, traffic will increase there creating parking issues which ultimately becomes an issue of land use.

Other significant goals, objectives and notable points made at the meeting include the following:

• Leverage the presence of TDCJ in Huntsville to support the expansion of existing businesses and attract new businesses to the community.

• Encourage TDCJ to evaluate its presence in the downtown area.

• Establish a formal incentives policy that recognizes the value of existing businesses in Huntsville.

• Support the development of attainable housing to ensure area employees can live inside the community.

• Promote the development of higher-end housing in the Huntsville area.

• Promote development patterns that are pedestrian friendly and encourage transit use.

• Implement access management and other transportation system management measures to help increase capacity along constrained roadways and maintain capacity in the community.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Mall Extension Center of Attention

Tuesday's Houstonian discusses the mall expansion being planned once the Frels and Wilson Buildings are demolished:

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ron Randleman Strength and Fitness Center

Big news over the weekend (October 28) was that the recently completed strength and fitness center was named in honor of former SHSU Head Football coach Ron Randleman. Located between Bowers Stadium and the Baseball Complex, the 11,000 square foot facility will be utilized by student-athletes from all sixteen varsity sports programs. Randleman was head coach from 1982 to 2004, totaling 132 victories and leading the Bearkats to five conference championships and four national playoff appearances.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

In Memoriam: Arleigh Templeton

Arleigh Templeton, the eighth president of Sam Houston State University, died Saturday in San Antonio at the age of 90. Templeton was a 1936 graduate of Sam Houston State Teachers College and later earned masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Houston.

During Templeton's presidency, Sam Houston State Teachers College became, in 1965, Sam Houston State College and was renamed again, in 1969, as Sam Houston State University.

Friday, October 27, 2006

MIA: Charles Gidley

Once upon a time there was a residence on the Sam Houston State University campus that was named for a man named Charles Gidley.

Time passed.

That's about all there is to it, aside from the fact the structure was torn down a few years ago. Of all the people who have had buildings named in their honor, Gidley stands out like a sore thumb. Our research a decade ago turned up nothing of any merit and now SHSU archivist Barbara Kievit-Mason is putting forth an effort to finally identify this mysterious individual.

"I can find no record of him here in the archives and all the folks I have talked to know nothing of him. I have listened to various theories that he was a librarian, music professor, etc., but none of these have panned out," she says in Today@Sam. Mason tells us she has exhausted all the usual sources - cemetery listings and census records – and interviewed numerous people and surfed the Internet, all to discover who Gidley was and his association with the university.

Anyone with information may contact Kievit-Mason at 936-294-3699, or by e-mail at

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Students Eliminate Sludge and Slop

Rachael Gleason reports about the clean up at Lake Oolooteka, better known as the duck pond on the Sam Houston Museum Grounds, in today's Houstonian (see previous story):

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pluto isn't a planet but it has a plaque

There was a rather semi-comical story about the future of the campus plaque noting Pluto as the solar system's ninth planet in the recent edition of the Houstonian.

Rachael Gleason notes in her article that since the Pluto's status was revoked by the International Astronomical Union that there may be a change of the quadrangle's model solar system: "I actually had a few ideas about the Pluto plaque," said Associate Professor of Physics, C. Renee James, who teaches an astronomy course at Sam Houston State University. "I thought we could have a funeral and dig it up. Everyone could wear black, just sort of a half-joke with a few lab instructors. It would be fun though, to have a community event for astronomy awareness."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Item: SHSU hosts town hall meeting

Extending hours of operation for local bars and transportation in and around the city took center stage during Tuesday evening’s forum in the Lowman Student Center theater on the university campus.

The discussion was part of the sixth and final forum dedicated to gathering community input regarding the proposed Huntsville Comprehensive Plan. This forum was specifically aimed at university students, staff and faculty.

City Planner Stan Hamrick said all the data collected at these six forums will be taken into consideration and discussed by consultants who will then present the information to the Comprehensive Plan Advancement Committee. The CPAC will then make initial drafts of a comprehensive plan to present to the city council for consideration.

Stewart Smith
Staff Reporter

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Item: Gaertner pitches SHSU at forum

Thursday night’s Economic Development Forum was remarkably similar in tone and content to the previous four Ward Congresses, though the evening’s discussion veered more toward the city’s economic future.

SHSU President James Gaertner urged Huntsville to use to the fullest one of, what he believes to be, its largest existing assets.

“We don’t need to create new assets in Huntsville to have successful economic development,” Gaertner said. “There are places all over the United States that are trying to get a university in their city ... and we have one that is thriving. Corporations and businesses pick up and leave, but I’ve never seen a university pick up and leave.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Chronicle: College's name is near, dear to many

The statue of Sam Houston on the southern edge of Huntsville is about 10 times life-size, and still might not be big enough.

This is where the leader of the Texas revolutionary army and the republic's first president retired and later died in 1863. The town celebrates his birthday and hosts an annual folk festival in his name. The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is along Sam Houston Avenue, one of the busiest streets.

So anyone wanting a heated conversation need only suggest changing the name of Sam Houston State University, founded here in 1879, to something like Texas State University at Huntsville.

By Matthew Tresaugue
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oolooteka To Be Emptied

Now this sounds like fun on all sorts of levels: "The Sam Houston Memorial Museum, in conjunction with several SAM136 classes, will dredge the historical 'Duck Pond' next month in an effort to clean 70 years of pollution and perhaps even uncover secrets of the past," notes today's Houstonian.

The article notes this activity could result in some surprising finds at the bottom, which students will have to reach by hand. Yum!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mafrige Field House

Sam Houston State University’s athletic offices at Bowers Stadium will be designated as the Ron Mafrige Field House in a special ceremony to be held Friday, September 22, at 4 p.m.

Last fall, Mafrige gave $250,000 to make possible construction of the new 11,000 square foot football strength and conditioning facility adjacent to the Mafrige Field House. Along with other gifts to the athletic program, Mafrige has donated to the College of Business, the Theatre and Dance departments, Sam Houston Museum, as well as other scholarships.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Office To Open Its 'House'

Today@Sam notes the Office of Research and Special Programs will open the doors of its new location to faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, September 19. The offices are located in the recently renovated Adams House, formerly a student residence.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Musings from Sam Houston's Stomping Grounds

Fans of Sam Houston State University and its rich and colorful history can now listen to Paul Culp, special collections librarian at the Newton Gresham Library, tell stories of the history and people of the university and the Huntsville community. Looks for updates twice a month [site feed].

Item: Ward 1 residents sound off

As part of the Huntsville Horizon Plan, city residents and university students met Thursday, September 7, 2006 to discuss about the future of the city and the people that live and work there. SHSU Student Body President Christopher Whitaker was in attendance, according to a portion of this Item article:
Ward 1 residents sound off
Huntsville comp plan garners interest from community
by Kelly Prew with Ben Bell
The Huntsville Item
Thursday, September 8, 2006

In an issue spurred from how Sam Houston State University will grow in future years and how it will become “seamless in the community,” several citizens spoke about the need for sidewalks, better driveway access to businesses on major roadways and city services.

Transportation issues were discussed, from both the perspective of local residents and Sam Houston State University students in attendance. Then folks began discussions on what provisions would be made for pedestrians.

Christopher Whitaker, SHSU student body president, spoke for the students.

“There are serious pedestrian issues at Sam Houston Avenue and intersections with Avenue J and Avenue I,” he said. “My worst fear is a student being killed crossing these busy intersections.”

Residents concurred with Whitaker, naming a number of problem pedestrian areas citywide.

SHSU student life chair Justin Berry mentioned how a shuttle service could better improve quality of life for students.

“I agree with the shuttle service idea,” he said. “It would help a lot of local residents too. Sometimes our cars break down and money is tight, and a shuttle service could help out.”

Berry also brought up the issue of traffic lights and student access to the downtown area.

“There is a courthouse traffic light that never changes (University and 11th Street), and eventually backs up. Timing on lights is a little bit off.”

Karl Davidson brought up the possibility of a grant already in existence that would implement an attractive pedestrian system between SHSU and the downtown square, via University Avenue.

If the shuttle system were an option, talk swirled around who would pay the bill. SHSU senior Evan Dierlam suggested the city look to grant funding for a shuttle service.

Berry suggested possible satellite parking and shuttling.

The issue of affordable housing also grabbed residents and students, who agreed Huntsville has a variety of people who need different levels of housing.

“As the student population grows and the state continues to reduce funds, it is more difficult to build dormitories, and students quickly fill these spaces and professors and students alike are commuting because of this,” Whitaker said. “This hurts Huntsville revenue and growth.”

Friday, August 25, 2006

State of the University Address

News from University President James Gaertner at the annual State of University address focused on future construction projects and a possible university name change:
"There is a chance in this next legislative session that there will be an effort to reconfigure the university systems in the state," Gaertner said. "If a reorganization takes place, the issue of the names of the schools in those systems would be in question, and there is a possibility that we would be called upon to change our name to, probably, Texas State University-Sam Houston."

Among the construction projects the university will be facing in the near future is a new Mall Area that will require the removal of the Wilson and Frels buildings, scheduled to begin sometime around December; a 143,000 square feet Academic Building V that will house the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as some business offices, in the parking lot behind the Smith-Hutson Building and is expected to begin in March; surface parking; and a Performing Arts Center that will be in the parking lot south of the Criminal Justice Center.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Two Parking Lots Short

Construction projects – some confirmed and others in the planning stages – will eliminate a number of prominent parking spaces over the next school year, as explained in this Houstonian article (Aug. 24):
The faculty parking lot in between the Frels-Wilson complex will be removed along with the buildings to allow for the expansion of the new student mall area. According to [Director of Public Relations, Frank] Krystyniak, this parking lot will be the first to be replaced and will be unavailable by the end of November.

The lot north of the Vick House is to be replaced by Academic Building V...the schedule for construction has not been started yet, but Krystyniak said the lot will not be available for use in late spring.

Another parking lot may be lost due to a new Performing Arts Center... if the building is approved, Krystyniak said that construction would probably start in the fall of 2007 and a parking lot will be lost to the project.

Even though the university may lose the lots this year, Physical Plant Director John McCrosky said that more parking lot locations are discussed when buildings replace them. "We try to plan for things," said McCrosky, "We always try to come up with space for additional parking lots."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thumbs Up, Down On Campus Construction

Christi Laney takes a look at some of the campus construction projects in the August 22 edition of the Houstonian.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Item: Bearkat Mania kicks off Monday at SHSU

The August 21 Item gets a little confused between “Nest” and “Village.” Of course, there’s no point in getting "raven" mad about their typo – deal with it:
Raven Nest, apartment-style living on campus, opened up for upper-class students this year. Joellen Tipton, Director of Residence Life, said Raven Nest has been a big hit with students and said she has heard nothing but good things from the residents and staff.

Friday, August 18, 2006

GMH building luxury student housing in Texas

GMH Communities Trust said its College Park Communities division has completed the purchase of a site close to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where the company plans to build a 318-unit luxury student housing community.

GMH said it paid $1.8 million for 26 acres. The development will include 23 buildings.

The company (NYSE:GCT) expects to finish the first, 228-unit phase by fall 2007. The luxuries will include a fitness center, a movie theater and tanning beds. GMH of Newtown Square, Pa., is real estate investment trust that concentrates on student and military housing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The "Weight" is Over....

Staff began moving into the new strength and conditioning building today, located between Bowers Stadium and the Baseball Complex.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Change of Address

The campus post office is moving to a temporary location beginning today, August 1, located in front of Art Building A. Once moved, students will be able to pick up mail between 8:45 am and 4:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

SHSU Expecting Another Fall Enrollment Increase

In the past few years Sam Houston's enrollment has been steadily increasing. With more students coming in, there are more opportunities to make the changes that students, faculty and alumni want to see happening on campus, SHSU President James F. Gaertner explained.

As SHSU approaches the 2006 fall semester, the enrollment numbers are being watched closely, and with a goal of a 4 percent growth each year, SHSU is looking to keep the enrollment growth trend going strong.

"We want prospective students to visit the campus, because once they arrive and see how beautiful the campus is and how friendly people are they won't want to leave," said assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions Judy Smith.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Update: Smith-Kirkley

There finally appears to an answer in regard to the future of the Smith-Kirkley Hall. Having been noticeably absent from the Residence Life website for many months, and unavailable for occupancy during the 2006-07 school year, it was anyone's guess what was going on. Everything seemed to indicate the end of the 40-year old building in the heart of campus.

There finally appears to an answer - in regard to the Kirkley half, at least. According to the Walker County Alliance, Kirkley is undergoing internal renovations to become the home of various offices, for at least one dean and SHSU Phon-a-Thon. As was noted in March, Raven Village is opening this fall with 400 available beds; in the event there is any sort of overflow, Smith Hall can be reopened to accommodate 200 beds.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Johnson Coliseum scoreboard project

The next time you're in Johnson Coliseum, look upward for the new scoreboard, apparently both started and completed this week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

April 2006 Regents Report

Today@Sam reports that the Texas State University System Board of Regents approved the construction of a $30 million Academic Building V and a $2 million expansion to the present Campus Mall that requires removal of the Frels-Wilson complex.

SHSU President James Gaertner told the regents that the new academic building will house the College of Humanities and Social Sciences offices and classrooms in 143,301 square feet of space. Also housed there will be additional faculty offices, the post office, accounts payable, purchasing, the business office and human resources. It is currently planned for the area south of the Smith-Hutson addition and east of the Lee Drain Building.

Gaertner said that the 80,000 square feet expansion of the mall south of the Lowman Student Center "will give our expanding student population a spacious area to gather for relaxing and socializing, and to conduct student activities and events."

Also approved were preliminary plans for a $980,000 recreational area to be known as Bearkat Camp, on 345 acres of land adjacent to the Trinity River that was deeded to SHSU in 2002 by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The recreational area for students, faculty and staff will include a covered pavilion, campsites, fishing, canoeing, nature trails, and rest rooms.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

The Fastest Growing University in Texas

Last fall in the 35 public Texas colleges and universities, there was an enrollment increase of 2,875 students. At Sam Houston State University alone, the increase was 975 students, or just over a third of the entire state total.

Even with the increase of students, University President James Gaertner notes, “...we are not running out of space on our grand old campus."

Saturday, April 29, 2006

SHSU Benefitting From High School Sporting Events

The Huntsville Item reports (Apr. 29, 2006) that university facilities have become quite popular - with the high school crowd:
Each year, high school athletes get a chance to take advantage of the same fields, courts and track that the Kats compete on. Over the last few weeks, SHSU has hosted tennis regionals at the McAdams Tennis Center, and this weekend, Bowers Stadium is full of young athletes competing for a chance to advance to state at the Class 4A Region III track and field meet.

And if that’s not enough, the new Bearkat Baseball/Softball Complex is being used for high school playoff games.

So, with all this exposure to high school kiddos that have the potential of making the jump to the collegiate level, how does all this benefit the SHSU athletic department?

“Definitely the exposure part of this gives Sam Houston State the chance to show off our top-notch facilities,” said Bobby Williams, SHSU director of athletics. “That’s a big positive for us. We have always done a good job bringing in high school playoff games, but the new baseball and softball complex is a major factor. Everybody wants to play there because it is such a beautiful facility.

Beginning this weekend, and going well into May, high school baseball and softball playoff games will be played under the lights at the new complex.

Friday, April 21, 2006

SHSU at One Hundred Twenty Seven

On April 21, 1879 Texas Governor Oral Roberts singed legislature to set up an institution named after the hero of San Jacinto, Sam Houston Normal Institute. Only Texas A&M and its associated Prairie View campus had been established earlier, in 1876, as state-supported institutions of higher learning, making SHSU the third-oldest university in Texas. The Normal received top students that were recommended on a quota basis from each Texas senatorial district.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

VP Says SHSU Not Anticipating Fall Housing Problem

Vice President for Enrollment Management Heather Thielemann is quoted in an Today@SAM article that during the fall 2006 semester, “the temporary closing of Belvin-Buchanan will account for the loss of 209 beds and the closing of Smith-Kirkley Hall will account for the loss of 500 beds; however, Raven Village’s opening will give the university 400 beds, and 200 beds in Smith Hall will be used in the event of an overflow of students wanting to live on campus.”

Friday, March 10, 2006

President's Update

A few odds and ends from SHSU President Jim Gaertner:

The regents have already given us the approval to remove the Frels and Wilson complex, which is being used for offices, and the Smith-Kirkley residence hall. When we decide to do so, it will be the first step in a series of moves that will give us additional office and classroom space.

The Frels-Wilson removal will allow us to expand and consolidate the present mall/commons area, which will greatly add to the beauty of our already-magnificent campus.

A key element in that series of steps will be construction of an estimated $30 million Academic Building V. It is currently planned for the area south of the Smith-Hutson addition and east of the Lee Drain Building.

While the timelines for these projects have not been set, we hope to have sufficient planning completed to present the ABV project for board approval at their May board meeting, and to proceed with first approval for a new dining facility in August or November.

In our somewhat more distant facility plans are projects that will be of great benefit to our academic capability.

We are continuing to work toward a new performing arts building to provide space and facilities for music, theater, and dance. These programs have been attracting national attention and credit, and as a result are of interest to a growing number of area, state, and national students.

This facility will include classrooms, practice rooms, and recital and concert halls. The discussions of what we would like in such a facility, and what we can realistically afford, are continuing.

Another project that we are planning will be an expansion of the Criminal Justice Center, which was built by inmate labor some 30 years ago at a bargain price to the state and nation, but which is now operating at full capacity.

The Criminal Justice program has brought more national and international attention to Sam Houston State University in its relatively short period of existence than any other on our campus. We are committed to maintaining its reputation for service and preeminence in its field, and having a quality facility is a key to that goal.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Baseball/Softball Complex Opens

The Bearkats win big as their new baseball and softball fields open - and fans loved it, as noted in the Huntsville Item (Feb. 12, 2006):
A large fan base braved the cold, windy weather Saturday for a first look at the Sam Houston State Bearkat Softball and Baseball Complex.

Huntsville resident Dave Smith said he’s watched the complex grow from the ground up.  “I really like it,” he said during the Bearkat women’s game Saturday. “I live near here, so I got to enjoy watching it go up.  I used to walk here when it was woods. I used to find cougar and deer tracks here,” he said. “And, now we’re playing softball here. It’s just beautiful.”

“It’s just a lot nicer,” [student Cordy] Raney said, just as the Bearkats hit their first grand slam in the new softball park. “And, now I don’t have to worry about my car getting slammed anymore.”  The old parking at the softball team’s former home on Avenue M was located directly behind home plate. At the new facility, parking was only one of the many things considered when building.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Opening Day Only Five Days Away

Preparing for opening day at the new Bearkat baseball and softball fields as reported in the Huntsville Item (Feb. 5, 2006):
Opening day at the brand-new Bearkat Baseball and Softball Complex is just a few days away. On Friday, the Bearkat baseball team throws out the first pitch at its fabulous new facility above Bowers Stadium. Texas Southern comes to town for an evening game under the lights, and the Tigers stick around for a three-game weekend series.

Softball season starts Saturday afternoon at the Bearkats’ new stadium next door to the baseball park. The Bearkats play Louisiana Tech at 3:15 p.m. in the opening game of the Domino’s Pizza Bearkat Invitational.

Having worked out in the new facilities since last fall, the Bearkats say they can’t wait to show off their new homes. Baseball and softball players at SHSU finally have something to be proud of, and they look forward to hitting the field for the 2006 season in front of overflow crowds.

One of the most impressive things about the new baseball/softball complex is an indoor facility that has spacious locker rooms, indoor batting cages, coaches’ offices and conference rooms. There is also a place for players to meet before or after practices and games.

Down the hill a bit at the new softball complex, the Bearkats feel the same way as the baseball guys. SHSU’s softball players are taking full advantage of some of the new features that weren’t available to them at the old, off-campus field on Avenue M.  They now have a chance to play or practice at night thanks to the new stadium lighting. There is also a state-of-the-art sound system, chairback seats, and even bathrooms in the dugouts.

Besides all the new bells and whistles, the softball field is like most others. The dimensions are 190 feet down the right- and left-field foul poles and 220 to center.  At the Bearkat Baseball Complex, it’s 330 feet down the lines, 375 to the power alleys and 400 to dead center, where there’s a 30-foot wall staring hitters straight in the face.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Houstonian Updates

The weight room wait is over
The wait is finally over for the official grand opening of the newly renovated Health and Kinesiology Center, just in time for students who made a "New Year Resolution" to shed a few unwanted pounds during 2006. The addition to the 10,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art HKC facility includes 40 cardio machines, 25 plate loaded machines, a section for free weights, heated swimming pool, new multipurpose room and a 34 ft. rock wall for students would like to diversify their workouts.

Projects bring updates to science facilities
Several construction projects around the SHSU campus near completion and several more have just broken ground. The Farrington Building is nearly finished after undergoing major renovations and should be completely done close to the beginning of the spring semester. Once this two million dollar project is completed, both departments will have new state-of-the-art facilities including the addition of several research labs.

The construction of a new Visitors and Alumni Center is scheduled for completion in April of 2006. The new building, to be used by admissions and the alumni center, is estimated to cost $3.2 million and is to be positioned near Estill on the south side of campus. The entire first floor will house the Visitors Center, while the second will contain Alumni Relations. School officials expect the center to be the "front door" to the university and will have all campus tours begin from its location. In addition to new technology, the building will feature a 50-seat auditorium, second floor patio and an art plaza.

The most recent project to begin is the construction of Raven Village. The new 400-bed residence hall on the south side of campus is scheduled to open in the fall of 2006 and will be available to all students who are sophomores and above. Each room will have two bedrooms, living room, kitchenette, vanity and bathroom. "Raven Village should be done in time for it to open in the fall of 2006," John McCroskey of the SHSU Physical Plant said. "It will probably be done sometime near the end of July."

Yet another step forward for SHSU athletics will be the construction of a new weight facility that will be located near the new softball/baseball complex. The structure will be approximately 11,000 square feet and will contain coaches' offices as well as men's and women's changing rooms. Also included in the complex will be a 9,000 square foot area weight room for SHSU athletes to use. "Right now they've got a small one in the field house, but it's just not adequate," McCroskey said. Since 2002, SHSU has spent an estimated $140 million on various construction and renovation projects across the campus.