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.