Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Historical Building Collection Includes Sam Houston Hideaway

There was some information about the historical structures located at Montgomery County's Fernland property in the Dec. 2, 2008 edition of the Conroe Courier:
Historians and educators are wrestling with the challenge of preserving a collection of historical buildings – including a hunting lodge used by Sam Houston – in a secluded area of Montgomery County. Fernland, the 40-acre parcel of land donated to Sam Houston State University in 2002, is important to scholars and state historians because it features five historical buildings dating back to the 1820s.

“It’s a secluded site without modern conveniences like water, power and sewer,” said Dr. Patrick Nolan, director of the Sam Houston Museum in Huntsville. “Making it available to the public is a challenge.”

While the site is available for tour with prior arrangement, SHSU officials are reluctant to encourage tourism, citing security issues and a lack of modern conveniences. The rustic site has been used by filmmakers as a set for western movies, but Nolan noted future cinematic adventures may not be likely.

“There’s a lot of history there and it’s almost entirely made of wood,” he said. “An accidental fire or other mishap would be disastrous.”

University representatives and area historical groups are in discussions regarding a possible way for the grounds to be made more accessible to the public. While officials are concerned about releasing information about Fernland’s location, they are eager to inform the public about the site.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 2008 Regents Report

Today@Sam has their run-down of the meeting of the Texas State University System Board of Regents:
Each of the component universities in the system is required to submit a revised campus master plan at least every 10 years. The board approved Sam Houston State's current plan in 2000; however, because of the university's rapid growth during the past eight years, administrators decided to update the plan this year.

The plan submitted by JJR, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich. calls for new or improved academic space, new residence halls, non-academic structures and a parking garage.

Recommended projects and estimated costs include an addition to the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas building ($15 million); integrated engineering and technology building ($37 million); agriculture complex at Gibbs Ranch ($6 million); biology, nursing and allied health building ($42 million); forensic science building ($24 million); College of Business Administration building ($45 million); and Criminal Justice Center addition ($16 million).

JJR, Inc. suggests building two residence halls --- the first one ($17.5 million) north of Sorority Hill and the second one ($23.5 million) at the site of King Hall --- in response to the projected growth in student population.

A proposed 1,200-space, multi-level parking structure on Bearkat Boulevard would cost $20 million.

Recommended non-academic facilities include a health center expansion ($3 million); a new residence life maintenance building ($2 million); and an alumni center ($10 million) adjacent to Bowers Stadium.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Building a Mystery:"B" is for Brumby?

The SHSU Art Complex is a collection of six buildings – five metal and one brick – located on the southwest side of campus along Sam Houston Avenue. It’s the second building, Building B, that we’re interested in today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Plan for new dining hall unveiled

Staff writer Jenny Swenson has an article in today’s Houstonian about the new dining hall being built on the north side of campus. A presentation by “Baton Rouge based Tipton Associates [showed] preliminary plans…[and ]…project[ed] the dining hall will be completed in the fall of 2010.”

According to the article, the “dining hall will be located in place of existing structures on Bearkat Boulevard, scheduled for demolition.” In short: Lawrence and Mitchell houses are on the chopping block as evidenced in the article’s accompanying photograph which now shows the dining hall due north of Belvin-Buchanan Hall.

Earlier plans for the dining hall indicated it might be built in the parking lot east of the University Health center.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Dining Facility Discussion

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to discuss design concepts with the Architects for the new Dining Facility from 3-5pm on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 in the Lowman Student Center Atrium.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SHSU To Break Ground On Performing Arts Building

The music, theatre and dance departments will become one step closer to having a new home on Thursday, October 2 when SHSU will break ground for the construction of the new Performing Arts Center.

The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the Fine Arts Courtyard, between the Music Building and the University Theatre Center.

After a few words by College of Arts and Sciences dean Jamie Hebert and SHSU president Jim Gaertner, a conga line, including students dressed in costumes from various arts productions, will lead attendees to receptions in the Music Building atrium and UTC lobby, according to Maggie Collum, special events coordinator.

Representatives from the Texas State University System office, as well as the building’s architect and construction companies, WHR Architects, Inc. and SpawGlass Construction Corporation, respectively, will be on hand for the ground breaking.

The $38.5 million project will bring together the three programs in a 91,976 square foot facility that will include recital and concert halls, an outdoor performance area, practice and rehearsal rooms, costume storage and offices.

It is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2010 semester.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Arch Deluxe

The new archway we mentioned a few days ago has been installed outside the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

It looks far better than the previous arch that welcomed visitors to Sam Houston’s home in decades past.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rebuilding Fallen Arches

The Huntsville Item reports that the old archway that stood outside the Sam Houston Memorial Museum is being recreated.
The archway that says “Sam Houston Home” is situated between two stone pillars leading to the museum’s entrance.

Patrick Nolan, director of the museum, said the old archway was wooden and decayed a long time ago. After finding the two stone pillars buried behind some trees, Nolan said the museum hired a contractor to rebuild the archway based on an old photograph.

Nolan said the Sam Houston Folk Festival donated the money to create the archway.

"It’s our gift to Huntsville,” Nolan said. “It’s a symbol of the museum pride and dedication to Huntsville."

Nolan said there might be a dedication ceremony at some point in the future.
The old photograph mentioned in the story is probably similar to the one we have above from the 1962 Alcalde (above).

I guess I don’t understand how the pillars were “just found” behind some trees, as I saw them and wondered their usefulness back in 1997 when I started the buildingshsu project. You have to drive past them to enter or exit the museum grounds, which someone is doing in our 2007 photo (right). Of course, it wasn't until later I discovered why the pillars were there, and by then I was more surprised that someone hadn't insisted they be torn down. I guess I'm just amazed in the sudden interest in the once-forgotten archway.

Monday, September 15, 2008

DMN: San Marcos body farm does 'CSI'-style research

The Dallas Morning News featured an article in their September 14 edition about the two Texas body farms, both in the Texas State University – one in San Marcos and the other northeast of Huntsville.
This five-acre Hill Country farm isn't for harvesting crops, and it's not for raising animals. It's for bodies – dead bodies – and the Texas State University criminal justice students who use them to help solve cold cases.

These 'CSI'-style cemeteries, where scientists study donated human corpses as they decompose, have been untenable in all but a few states – the result of uneasy neighbors and an obvious "ick" factor.

For now, Texas has beaten these odds. Within a year, the state will be home to two of the country's four "body farms," including TSU's, the largest human decomposition program in the world.

Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, which is in the same university system as Texas State, got approval this year for its own body farm – the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility. But some students and faculty have raised concerns about the farm's location – on a former Texas Parks and Wildlife fish hatchery they say was supposed to be reserved for "natural" sciences. "Natural," in this case, is in the eye of the beholder.

"We need to do this for people who don't have a voice," said Dr. Joan Bytheway, who conceived of Sam Houston's body farm in 2005 while excavating mass graves in Iraq to convict Saddam Hussein of genocide. "So many cold cases are never solved. We can use this to determine what happens to bodies postmortem, until they're recovered."

Sam Houston State broke ground on its body farm last month – a 1-acre, maximum-security plot on the site of a former fish hatchery. The facility got the university system's go-ahead this spring following a faculty vote, and will have a morgue-type structure on the property by the end of the year. Dr. Bytheway said the first cadavers will be out there "as soon as we can start getting them.

Dr. Bytheway said she's seen the reaction body farms have had elsewhere in the country, and has taken every necessary precaution. The Sam Houston facility is on a dead-end road where the nearest home is more than a mile away. A containment pond will catch any potential runoff. And she had geologists take soil samples to ensure bodily fluids wouldn't be able to leach into the ground.

But they've also used another technique: "We've been really low-key about it," Dr. Bytheway said.

Indeed, few in Huntsville seem to know a body farm is in the works. Reached by phone, the Huntsville mayor, the city manager and the county judge said they supported Sam Houston's forensics research – but that they'd heard nothing about the plans.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today@Sam: Statue To Be Dedicated To War Hero, Alumnus Sept. 11

The Sam Houston State University statue that pays homage to two war heroes and an artist will receive its official dedication on Thursday, September 11, 2008.

The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. between Academic Building I and the Smith-Hutson Business Building. During the event, university president Jim Gaertner will recognize Col. M.B. Etheredge, one person in whose honor the statue of Gen. Sam Houston was given. The statue’s donator, alumnus Ron Mafrige, will also make a few remarks.

The ceremony will also include a presentation of the colors by SHSU’s ROTC and songs performed by the Bearkat Marching Band and will be followed by a reception in the LSC Mall Area.

The statue, a 20-foot replica of the 67-foot statue that stands on Interstate Highway 45 south of Huntsville, was created by sculptor and SHSU alumnus David Adickes, the other person in whose honor the statue was given. Adickes also created the original “Big Sam” for Gen. Sam Houston's 200th birthday anniversary and named it "A Tribute To Courage."

Etheredge, a 1937 graduate of Sam Houston State Teachers College and former SHTC track star, is this country's highest decorated surviving soldier of World War II. In the U. S. Army, Etheredge earned three Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts for gallantry in action.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

$30M Academic Building V Scheduled To Open January 2009

The usual start-of-semester rundown of the campus construction projects appeared in the August 28 issue of the Houstonian:
...the corner [of the new campus mall] formerly occupied by the Telephone and University Post Office building was recently demolished and the system relocated to Academic Building I. "We finished the [demolition] before the break between Summer 2 and the start of fall," John McCroskey, Associate Director of the Physical Plant, said. "We still have a few pieces of rubble to haul off, but once we get that moved out of the way we're going to complete the campus mall construction project...."

Academic Building nearing completion. According to McCroskey, the building is about 80 percent complete. "We are planning to open the building for classes in January," McCrosky said. "It's going to be a push but we'll get there" McCroskey said.

Plans [for the new Performing Arts Center] are in the finalizing process, and McCrosky said he expects to break [ground] on October 2.

Plans are also in place for a new dining hall on the north side of campus.

The existing campus master plan expires this year, opening the way for the new plan, which will be approved in November, to further modify the campus. "We're just now completing the master plan for the next twelve years, to send it to the Board of Regents for approval in November," McCroskey said. "The master plan will be approved and we'll probably start programming two or three of those buildings."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Today@Sam: Gaertner To Address University Thursday

Jim Gaertner, Sam Houston State University president, will give his annual state-of-the-campus message on Thursday, August 28 at 2 p.m. in the Beto Criminal Justice Center's Killinger Auditorium.

Discuss this topic at

Monday, August 11, 2008

Today@Sam: Dial “D” for Demolition

An area near the Lowman Student Center has been fenced off for the demolition of the old telephone services building located on the northwest corner of the new central plaza. The pedestrian route will be interrupted from Aug. 11 - 22 for building demolition, debris removal, and reconstruction of the area to match the existing plaza. The work is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the fall semester (photo credit: SHSU).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Steamboat House Sesquicentennial

The Steamboat House, that strangely-shaped former residence located on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, celebrates its sesquicentennial year in 2008. Constructed in 1858 on a tract of land east of Oakwood Cemetery, the house was named "Buena Vista" by its creator but became known as "the Steamboat House" because of its unusual design evoked the image of a double-decker steamboat. Sam Houston moved to the residence in 1862 and died there in July of the following year. After a series of owners, renovations, and an eventual relocation to the museum grounds, the building was presented to the state on March 2, 1936 - Texas Independence Day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today@Sam: The Building Rises

Work continues on the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, which will be the largest classroom and laboratory facility at Sam Houston State University when completed in November. The project is now estimated to be 70 percent complete (photo credit: SHSU).

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Hotels Could Be on The Horizon

Today's Item reports on possible new business coming to Huntsville:
Two new hotel developments could be a step closer to reality in Huntsville if the proposed projects find favor among the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone board of directors on Monday.

Proposals for a Hampton Inn and Marriott Hotel project will be presented by Glenn Isbell, special projects director for the City of Huntsville.

The SHSU campus is mentioned, specifically:
Similar projects were proposed to TIRZ earlier this year, including a Hampton Inn & Suites north of Raven Nest Golf Course and on the south side of Smither Road west of Interstate 45.

Buffalo Lodging LLC of Arlington proposed a four-story building, consisting of 93 units, along with an indoor pool and spa and 1,000 square feet of meeting space. Construction square footage totaled approximately 60,000 square feet, and the estimated appraised value for the hotel was $5 million.

Another proposal from K Partners Hospitality Group of San Antonio was discussed by TIRZ for two hotels and a conference center on 13.28 acres of land east of Interstate 45 that housed the Sam Houston State University Agriculture Center. The deal that was projected to be finalized in December 2007 did not materialize.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today@Sam: Exhibit Shows History Of 19th Century Homes

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum will tour some of Walker and Montgomery counties’ prime real estate during the 1800s with a photo exhibit beginning July 17.

Mudcats and Dogtrots: Historic Log Buildings in Walker and Montgomery Counties,” includes approximately 45 pictures, that will be on display through Aug. 31 in the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr., Education Center.

Taken by museum curator of exhibits David Wight and borrowed from Walker County Treasures, the photographs highlight the structural details of houses that were once so common they weren’t carefully documented, Wight said.

These structural details include not only differences in the way cabins were “notched” and whether round or square logs were used, but also how the fireplaces were built—with mudcats, a special kind of mud—and the dogtrots, the open but covered central breezeway that separated two “pens” or “cribs.”

“Many dogtrot log houses evolved from a single log structure; as the family expanded, a second crib was added,” according to Gordon Echols’s book “Early Texas Architecture.” “The name dog run is derived from the fact that the family dogs found the shade and the breeze during the summer as comfortable as did the residents.”

Inside the Bear Bend Hunting Lodge, built in 1850, where Gen. Sam Houston often stayed while hunting.

While some of the pictures in the exhibit date back to around 1896, many of the cabins that are part of the exhibit are dated as early as the 1830s, according to museum director Patrick Nolan.

Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.

The Walker Education Center is located at 1409 19th St.

For more information, visit the Sam Houston Memorial Museum online.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Something about Abner H. Cook

The name Abner Cook has popped up in a handful of news articles of late, what with the Sunday, June 8 fire at the Texas Governor’s Mansion in Austin. Cook designed the Greek revival building in the mid-1850s and it has been the home of every Chief Executive since 1856 (that being the term of Elisha M. Pease for those playing along at home).

Prior to his time in Austin, Cook lived and worked in Huntsville where his best-known project was the Texas State Penitentiary, or the Walls Unit, completed in 1848. However, there has been a long-standing assumption that Cook had a hand in creating the iconic Greek-revival Austin College Building on the SHSU campus.

Paul Culp, the university’s Special Collections librarian notes in an 1989 article that:
It has been traditionally maintained that Austin College was designed by Abner Cook, the master builder who created the finest residences in Texas before the Civil War (notably the Governor’s Mansion and a number of other beautiful house still standing in Austin), but evidence for this is largely circumstantial. He came to build the penitentiary...and he was a trustee of Austin College; however he returned to Austin in 1850 (before the building was begun) and he is not mentioned except possibly by inference in the contract for construction which is preserved in the Walker County deed records. It is certainly not a wild conjecture, however, to assume that Cook would leave plans with his friend Robert Smither for a project in which he was so involved.
As for the Governor’s Mansion, it was said to be haunted by a handful of ghosts including that of Sam Houston himself.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Today@Sam: Master Plan Presentation Set For June 11

The draft Campus Master Plan will be presented at an open forum from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11 in the Lowman Student Center Theater. During the event, the planning team led by JJR of Ann Arbor, Michigan will give a 45-minute presentation on the progress of the master plan, including an overview of the draft plan. The presentation will be followed by 45 minutes of interactive dialogue where participants will be asked to give feedback on the overall plan, specific building opportunities, parking and circulation, and open space and pedestrian circulation. The input received will aid the consultant team in refining the draft plan into the final Master Plan, which will be completed in late July.

Discuss this topic at

Monday, May 19, 2008

Item: Historical marker dedicated at Rather Memorial Park

From the May 17 edition of the Item: A City of Huntsville historical marker was dedicated at the Rawley Samuel Rather Memorial Park at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street.

The park is located on the home site of Rawley Samuel Rather and his wife, Mary Caroline Henry — lifetime Huntsville residents — and their five children — Marian Leigh, Rawley Goss, John Henry, who died in infancy, Edward Seay and John Henry.

The Rathers’ oldest child, Marian Leigh, was the first woman elected to the local school board and served as the Walker County chairman of the women’s suffrage movement. Marian Leigh was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She taught math of Sam Houston Normal (later Sam Houston State University) and wrote the college song for homecoming in 1910.

The house was demolished in 1977, and the Rather-Powell family made the site available to the City of Huntsville for a downtown park in 1979.

May 2008 Regents Report

New degrees, new standards for transfer students, a new building to house a portion of the forensic science program, a new intercollegiate sport and a holiday schedule were all approved Friday for Sam Houston State University, according to Today@Sam:
The forensic science facility will be a garage-like structure costing about $115,000, with a small pond, and will be used for the study of body decomposition in the unique climate of East Texas.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Today@Sam: New Sam Houston Statue Honors World War II Hero M. B. Etheredge

A new statue of General Sam Houston has been erected at Sam Houston State University. It is a smaller replica of the 67-foot "Tribute to Courage" on I45 south of Huntsville. SHSU donor Ron Mafrige provided funding for the statue and said it honors M. B. Etheredge of Huntsville, the United States' most highly decorated surviving soldier of World War II.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Regents Approve Performing Arts Center

Today@Sam reports that SHSU has been given the go ahead by the Texas State University System Board of Regents to begin construction on a $38.5M Performing Arts Center:
The Regents unanimously approved the project during a Thursday morning conference call. The project had been submitted for approval twice previously but withdrawn for further work.

Construction could begin as early as September 2008, pending approval of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Bond Review Board. The Coordinating Board meets in late July. Completion of the center is estimated in the fall of 2010.

The new building will be constructed on the parking lots just north of the Music Building and Theatre Center, uniting the three into a Fine Arts Complex.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Alumnus Leaves Mark On University with Statue

Information about Ron Mafrige's latest gift to the university appears in today's issue of the Houstonian. A newly erected 15-foot statue of Sam Houston now graces the east mall area between Academic Building One and the Smith-Hutson Business Administration Building:

"The statue of Sam Houston was donated by Mafrige earlier this month. It is sculpted by local artist David Adickes, who Mafrige believes, will eventually be known as one of the better artists of our time. The statue is aptly located adjacent to the Smith-Hutson building, where Mafrige has made such large contributions. Mafrige said the statue adds to the university that carries its name and since it was created by a local artist, offers tradition too.

'I felt the combination of what [Adickes] did with the Sam Houston statue and the fact that he was the artist was a double hit,' Mafrige said.

The location for the statute is one of two selected by an art committee formed by the university.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Today@Sam: Exhibit Reflects ‘Past, Present, Future’

he Political Science Junior Fellows and Huntsville Main Street are showing the “past, present and future” of the city with an art exhibit in the Lowman Student Center Gallery.

University Corridor: Past, Present and Future” features more than 100 historic photographs, dozens of contemporary photographs specially commissioned for this project and several renderings of future possibilities for the area between downtown Huntsville and SHSU, according to junior fellows adviser and political science visiting professor Mike Yawn.

The “corridor” is an ideal focal point because it “is Huntsville’s street,” said Huntsville Main Street director Harold Hutcheson.

“It was originally called ‘Main Street,’ and for 160 years, it has been a vibrant part of the city,” he said. “We hope to celebrate its rich history.”

The exhibit’s photos date back to 1863 and include such landmarks as the Walker County Courthouse; the district attorney’s office; Rather Park; Old Main; and the Rogers-Baird home, the oldest extant dwelling in Huntsville; the Wynne Home; Gibbs-Powell Home; Sam Houston Memorial Museum; and City Hall.

Local photographers Melody Gathright and Dena Shipley contributed to the exhibit by donating “their time and talents and were wonderful assets to the project,” Yawn said.

Another part of the city’s “past, present and future,” Huntsville’s nine living mayors, will be in attendance at the exhibit’s reception on Monday (April 14), from 5:30-7 p.m. in the gallery.

The exhibit will run through April 25.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Today@Sam: College, Alumna To Remember Bowers At Dedication

SHSU’s College of Education will dedicate a statue donated by the daughter of former university president Elliott Bowers on Tuesday, April 1, 2008.

The ceremony for the Frances Handley Bowers Statue, which depicts a boy pushing a girl on a swing, will be held at 3 p.m. on the lawn in front of the Teacher Education Center.

The statue was given to the university last year by alumna Linda Bowers Rushing and her husband, Charles, who purchased the statue during a fundraiser auction at Alpha Omega Academy, where their daughter teaches.

“It reminded me of how my mother always taught school,” Rushing said. “It was the first thing I saw when I walked through the door, and I decided on the spot that I wanted to buy it.

“It’s very whimsical, and I thought it was a very sweet statue,” she said.

A Huntsville resident for more than 50 years, Frances Handley Bowers’ ties to SHSU and the community ran deep.

She came to Sam Houston State University as a drum major for the Bearkat Marching Band and earned her bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from the university.

One of her master’s theses was on the history of the Country Campus, “the second largest city in Walker County” that housed 850 veterans after World War II and where the Bowers family had lived for five years, Bowers had said in an interview.

She also taught, mainly the fifth grade, within the Huntsville school district for 23 years and “stayed busy” in the Huntsville community through civic organizations after she retired.

She died in 1999.

A reception will follow in the Teacher Education Center.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Campus Master Plan Update

The March 6 edition of the Houstonian reports on the Campus Master Plan discussion that was held Wednesday, March 5 on campus. Three potential plans were presented by JJR, as reported in the article:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Today@Sam: Team To Unveil Three Potential Campus Plans

JJR, of Ann Arbor, Mich., SHSU’s campus planning team, will present three alternatives for the university’s 2010 Master Plan for public consideration on Wednesday, March 5.

The meeting will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

In addition to the 45-minute presentation on the progress of SHSU’s Master Plan, which will include three potential concepts for how the campus could be developed in the future, the open forum will include 45 minutes of interactive dialogue, during which participants will be asked to give feedback and vote on alternative aspects.

The input received will aid the consultant team in identifying a preferred direction for the next steps of the master planning process.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Performing Arts Center

Here’s some proposed artwork – from the Office of the President’s website – of the forthcoming Performing Arts Center, to be built in the parcel of land between the Criminal Justice Center and the Music Building.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Farewell to the Concordia Campus

Concordia University Texas celebrated its 82-year-old campus today as they prepare to move from their landlocked location in central Austin (alongside the Interstate, no less), to a 250-acre nature preserve in northwest Austin. The day-long event included an open house of the university, allowing visitors the opportunity to tour and learn about each of the historic buildings on campus.

KXAN-TV reports that over the last year, a committee has been trying to figure out what to take from this 23-acre campus when the final class graduates April 26.

"They walked from one end of the campus to the other down all the sidewalks, through all the buildings and said here's all the things we need to keep," said Tom Cedel, university president. "And I think, if I remember correctly, it was 7 pages, single-spaced, of stuff we want to take with us. Things like windows out of the chapel, the entrance way to our original building in Kilian Hall, tiles in various buildings."

Plaques, cornerstones and even time capsules will be going -- one is not supposed to be open until 2045.

So what will the university will be doing with all of the artifacts?

"We're going to put a lot of those materials in storage, and we're looking at building an alumni center that will be a focus of these historical artifacts," Cedel said.

The one thing that will fade into history when the buildings come down in May will be the names. Concordia with start fresh with its new campus.

Incidentally, one of Concordia’s buildings is the George J. Beto Academic Center, home to classrooms, laboratories, and offices. Beto taught history at Concordia from 1939 to 1949, and later served as president of the college from January 1949 to June 1959. Completed in 2003, Concordia’s building marks the fourth building in Texas to honor Beto, including the Beto Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice at Tennessee Colony; the Beto House, a halfway house operated by the Texas Youth Commission, in McAllen; and the Beto Criminal Justice Center on the SHSU campus in Huntsville.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Today@Sam: Planning Experts To Open House For Master Plan Input

Sam Houston State University students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the direction the university should head in terms of construction during a second campus master plan open house on Jan. 22.

The informal session will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

Participants will be asked to identify issues regarding parking, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, buildings and facilities, open space, and the surrounding community.

The input received will aid the consultant team in identifying issues important to the university community, according to John McCroskey, associate director for the Physical Plant.

“We’re trying to get a vision so we’re not surprising the (Texas State University Board of) Regents every time we turn around,” he said. “It tells us in ballpark numbers what the budget needs to be for the next 10 years.”

The plan will be submitted by campus planning specialists JJR, which will establish a 10-year plan with a 20-year look ahead, McCroskey said.

The process is anticipated to be completed by July, in time for the TSUS Board of Regents meeting in August.

SHSU’s current master plan was established in 2000.

According to McCroskey, the current plan didn’t anticipate the enrollment surge the university has undergone in the past few years, and everything that could be done with it has already been completed.