Monday, December 3, 2012

Old Main Market Wins Design Award

Today@Sam reports that Old Main Market recently received the 2012 Silver Rose Award from the Baton Rouge Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The architect of the SHSU dining facility (completed in 2011) was Tipton Associates of Baton Rouge. Of the 39 national and international projects entered into the design competition, only three were recognized at this level.

“This is a design award to recognize outstanding architecture given out by the Baton Rouge, La., local chapter of the American Institute of Architects; in that respect it is not unlike other design award programs,” said Denise Neu, director of facilities planning and construction.

“However, it’s a testament to the quality of what SHSU is doing,” she said. “An independent group of architects that aren’t necessarily familiar with our campus have ranked the facility as exceptional. In that respect it gives SHSU exposure to an expanded audience and ultimately sets the bar for other design teams."

Projects are judged on their individual merit and granted at the discretion of an independent jury, which is composed of architects whose work and reputations have been established at the highest level of the profession.

Other buildings to win recent awards include the Gaertner Performing Arts Center and CHSS Building.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CHSS Dedicates Outdoor Classroom, Art Plaza

The Houstonian reports the opening of the new College of Humanities and Social Sciences Art Plaza and Outdoor Classroom that occurred on Friday, November 9:
As a lover of both the arts and environment, [Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences John] de Castro was persistent in finding a way to provide faculty and students with an area that would showcase different art forms in a beautiful environment. He not only envisioned a space used for the arts, but for the classrooms as well.

“The idea came from an understanding that we have a beautiful environment here and faculty love to come outside and share this environment with their students and have outdoor sessions, but we didn’t have an appropriate space,” de Castro said. “When I looked at the space here I thought it was perfect.”

Jesus Moroles is the artist and designer of the Arts Plaza. Moroles works as a granite sculptor. In 2008 he was the youngest person to receive the National Medal of Arts from former President George W. Bush. Moroles has more than 2,000 works in foreign countries such as Switzerland, China, Egypt, France, Italy, and Japan. Moroles created a space that would be able to hold seating for an event. Along with a 9 foot water wall, the space provides excellent acoustics.

The Arts Plaza and Outdoor Classroom is located behind the CHSS Building, adjacent to Johnson Coliseum. Wi-Fi will be provided outside for students.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Plans Set For Baptist Student Ministry Renovation

Architects have been tasked with designing a new Baptist Student Center facility, the Houstonian reports, citing various structural and mechanical issues in the current facility that are too expensive to repair:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Health Center and LSC Renovations Approved

The October 18 edition of the Houstonian reports that students voted to increase student fees to build a new Student Health Center and expand the Lowman Student Center.

The approval of the health center came through a landslide 74.6 percent in favor with 21.93 percent against and 1.72 percent not participating. Students also approved the LSC expansion with 63.48 percent approval.

Construction on the 28,000 square-foot Health Center is anticipated to begin in the early summer of 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2014.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ceremony to Honor Austin Hall

A refurbished Austin Hall will be presented to the campus and community in a special ceremony on Saturday, October 20. The Houstonian reports the re-dedication will feature words from several academic and city officials including President Dana Gibson; Mayor of Huntsville Mac Woodward, Brian McCall, Ph.D., chancellor of the Texas State University System; and Light Cummins, Ph.D., professor of history at Austin College in Sherman, TX.

The $2 million project was needed to repair years of deterioration and interior problems to preserve the 160-year-old structure. Built in 1851, Austin Hall opened for classes at Austin College in 1852. It has lived through the Civil War, Reconstruction, several hurricanes, and even a devastating fire in 1982 that destroyed Old Main. Today it is used for campus special events and receptions.

The event will begin at 3:30 with speakers beginning at 4 p.m. The ceremony is free and is open to all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lowman Student Center Expansion Project

Today@Sam reports that during Homecoming 2012 students will have the opportunity to vote for two referendum items, including fee increases that would benefit students through the Lowman Student Center (LSC) Expansion.  To fund the new construction, requests have been made to increase the Student Center Fee to its legislative cap, from $60 to $100.  Voting takes place Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The Lowman Student Center Expansion Project calls for two phases: phase one would build on the former Smith-Kirkley site, and phase two would include renovations to the existing facility.

Plans for phase one would open the LSC to bring in more natural light and create a more inviting place. The bottom level of the expansion will be all food services, as a replacement for the existing food court, that would provide more indoor seating and tie into outdoor seating that will be between the building and Avenue J. The second level ties into the current LSC where the atrium is located and would merge the existing building to the new expansion, as well as connect to the third level of the parking garage. This level would add more meeting rooms and create a pre-event space for events held in the LSC Ballroom or in the large conference rooms.

The top floor of the expansion will include a grand ballroom, an 11,000-square foot floor that could seat 650 guests at round tables or more than 1,000 in a chairs-only setting.  Renovations would also entail converting the current food court into an entertainment level: "The vision is to transition our current Kat Klub to a six-to-eight lane bowling alley with a pub."  The LSC staff are working with the SHSU bowling coach to create a partnership, as the lanes would benefit both the team and the students.

The current LSC was completed in 1963 and was renovated in 1981 and 2000.

You can discuss the Lowman Student Center Expansion Project at KatFans.

Student Health and Counseling Center Project

Today@Sam reports that during Homecoming 2012 students will have the opportunity to vote for two referendum items, including fee increases that would benefit students through the Student Health and Counseling Construction Project.  To fund the new construction, requests have been made to increase the Medical Service Fee, paid by students as part of their semester tuition, from $38 to $75.  Voting takes place Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The Student Health and Counseling Center Expansion Project would provide an approximately 28,000-square feet, two-story building that would house a combined Student Health Center and Counseling Center in the empty lot previously occupied by King Hall.

Built in 1965, the current Student Health Center currently serves a student population that is 222 percent larger than the 5,743 enrolled students that made up SHSU’s student body at that time; despite this large growth, the facility has had no additions or structural changes. The current Counseling Center is located between the Drain and Farrington Buildings.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Residence Life Close to Ending Dorm Overcrowding

The September 20 edition of the Houstonian reports on some of the housing issues seen during the fall semester and how the university aims to add additional rooms:
According to Joellen Tipton, director of Residence Life, about 60 students were put in temporary rooms around campus at the beginning of the semester because of an influx of students who enrolled late and the demolition of King Hall.

Tipton said the demolition of King Hall added to overcrowding. To combat this, she said Residence Life made adjustments to offer several female rooms as male rooms in Sam Houston Village and in other small houses.

Tipton said Residence Life places students in premium-double rooms, which are rooms that housed three beds before, in halls like Belivn-Buchanan Hall and Estill Hall. Additionally, students are placed in Resident Adviser rooms, unused spaces in sorority houses and the University Hotel.

According to the University Master Plan, Raven Village will be used as a model to build additional dorms to accommodate a growing student population. There are currently 3,269 residential beds, and the plan anticipates needing 4,000 beds by 2020.

President Dana Gibson touched on this addition to campus living in her “Sate of the University Address” earlier this month.  Gibson said the university has acquired land to build a new residence hall on the south side of campus across from Raven Village.  “[Planning groups] have been planning and building presentations over the next couple of months to finalize it pretty quickly,” Gibson said.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 State of the University Address

Administrative updates and plans for campus expansion were among the topics addressed in SHSU President Dr. Dana Gibson's State of the University Address, held Thursday, September 6. The Houstonian says Gibson spoke to faculty and staff about updates to the university master plan including upcoming legislative items, updates to expand campus facilities and administrative improvements as part of the university master plan:
Gibson also updated faculty and staff on her "legislative priorities" and planned facility developments including a new Event Center, Lowman Student Center expansion, additions to University Camp and a new Student Health Center.
At a SGA-sponsored KatChat town hall event, held prior to the September 6 address, Gibson addresses some of these planned facilities [Houstonian; September 6]:
"The LSC expansion is still in the programming stage," Gibson said. "We have to wait on the student referendum to raise the student center fee before moving forward with this project."

Gibson also updated students on the university master plan that included planned facility expansions such as adding a new Event Center and a university research park.

According to Gibson, the university has taken the first steps toward building an off-campus research park for corrections and law enforcement, an addition that would be unique to Huntsville. "There’s really no other research park for that in the United States, and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry," Gibson said. "We’re trying to attract that industry to do research with our faculty and potentially create business opportunities." Gibson added the administration has created a task force for the research park to consider student, faculty and staff input on the project.

Among the other expansions to university facilities Gibson discussed were adding a new event center near Bowers Stadium that would house a new ballroom, alumni relations and parts of the athletic department. The center would be funded by alumni donations, Gibson said. "The reason why we chose that location for the event center is to take advantage of the parking near the stadium for different events." Gibson said the project is still in the conceptual programming stage.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 2012 Regents Report

Today@Sam has a run-down of the projects discussed by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, the governing body of SHSU; notably:
  • Plans for an enhanced outdoor recreation area for SHSU...[the] Board of Regents approved design documents prepared by TGB Partners of Houston landscape architecture and planning firm. The project application will now go to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval. Once approved, the university will develop construction documents to build a camp facility 15 miles northeast of the main campus to accommodate 200 participants overnight.

    Plans call for four residence halls, a 50-by-80-foot assembly building, a multipurpose field in the central camp area, an outdoor swimming pool, and site improvements to include walking trails. The estimated cost of the project is $4.9 million. More than half the funding will go toward infrastructure campsite development.

    The 345-acre parcel of land near Riverside was donated to Sam Houston State by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 2001. The university remodeled an existing indoor pavilion in 2003 and built a new outdoor pavilion, a high and low elements challenge course, and made other property improvements in preparation for completing projects identified by the master plan in 2010.
  • ...Authorized SHSU to purchase real estate consisting of approximately 15 acres at 615 16th St. and 2.8 acres at 2207 Ave. J in Huntsville. Plans for the properties include campus expansion to accommodate the university’s growth and new student housing.
  • ...Authorized to enter into a renewed contract with Barnes & Noble Booksellers, LLC, to manage and operate the University Bookstore in the Lowman Student Center through June 30, 2022. Barnes & Noble has operated the bookstore since 1999.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

100th Anniversary of first Bearkat Game Oct. 6 has an article about the significance of the SHSU/SFASU match-up scheduled for October 6. The 87th annual Battle of the Piney Woods takes place on the 100th anniversary of Sam Houston State University's first football game:
The Rice Owls defeated Sam Houston 20-6 on Oct. 6, 1912 in Huntsville.

Dr. S. R. Warner, who had come to Huntsville as an instructor in the biology department and had played football as a student at William & Mary, served as volunteer coach for the first two Sam Houston football teams in 1912 and 1913.

The first team consisted of 19 players whose average height and weight were 5-8 and 150 pounds.

Lynn Baldwin scored Sam Houston's first touchdown on a five-yard run for the team's only points against Rice. Baldwin never punted but passed out of bounds on fourth down. Under 1912 rules, the opponent would take over possession where the pass crossed the sideline.

The Sam Houston football team won their next two games, defeating Bryan Baptist Academy 27-6 and Blinn College 18-6. Lon Morris College defeated Sam Houston 19-7 in the final game of the year. All three games also were played in Huntsville.

SHSU, then known as Sam Houston Normal Institute, was not known as the Bearkats until 1923. The nickname used for the athletic teams was "The Normals."

The coming 2012 football campaign marks the 97th season in Bearkat gridiron history. The university did not field teams in 1918 (during World War I) and in 1943, 1944 and 1945 (during World War II).

During its 96 previous years of play, the Sam Houston football program has rolled up a record 460 victories, 444 losses and 34 ties.

Making their first conference affiliation in 1923 as a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA), Sam Houston also competed in the Lone Star Conference from 1932 to 1983, the Gulf Star Conference from 1984 to 1986 and the Southland Conference from 1987 to the present.

The Bearkats have totaled 11 conference championships (TIAA 1930; LSC 1955, 1956, 1961 and 1964; Gulf Star 1985 and 1986 and Southland 1991, 2001, 2004 and 2011).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Room Named For COE Leaders

reports that over the summer a room in the Garrett Teacher Education Center was named after two long-time leaders in the Sam Houston State University College of Education:
The Dr. Genevieve Brown and Dr. Beverly J. Irby Center for Research in Educational Leadership highlights “the importance of two women in educational leadership who worked to ensure a legacy for future students,” according to Sheryl Serres, assistant professor of counseling.

A ceremony was held over the summer to formally recognize their accomplishments. Among the attendees were faculty members, community members, and representatives of numerous school districts.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Music Therapy Expands Services With New Clinic Space

reports that after more than 25 years operating without a facility, the SHSU Music Therapy program finally has a clinic to call its own:
While the music therapy program has operated in the Huntsville community for almost 30 years—with students working in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—this past February marked the first time services were offered in a clinical space created specifically for music therapy students and their clients.

The music therapy clinic is the result of the efforts of former School of Music director Mike Bankhead, Computer Science Chair Peter Cooper, and Provost Jamie Hebert, who recognized the need and allowed for the renovation of an old computer science space in Academic Building One.

Academic Building I Room 201, where the clinic can be found, is a large room peppered with instruments, a small lobby, an office for graduate students, and an observation room.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Steamboat House to Open

Sam Houston passed away July 26, 1863 on a small bed in the downstairs parlor room of the Steamboat House. The next day, funeral services were held in the upstairs parlor.

On Friday, July 27, 2012 the Sam Houston Memorial Museum we will open the Steamboat House from 10-2pm for visitors to come into the Steamboat House (this is a very, very rare opportunity) and learn about this important time in Texas history, learn about mourning customs of the time, explore the Steamboat House, and honor Sam Houston and the Houston family.

Campus Expansion Possibilities

Now with Smith-Kirkley Hall out of the way, the Houstonian reports that the campus turns its eyes on how to the use that piece of prime real estate as well as re-think the Student Health Center expansion:
Several possible updates to campus facilities at Sam Houston State University are in the pre-planning stage, according to university officials who met with students last week.

Associate Vice President of Student Services Keith Jenkins told members of the Student Government Association that potential updates to campus include an expansion of the Lowman Student Center, a new Health Center and updates to Pritchett Field and the University Camp.

He added that over the years, students have expressed interest in having carpeting in the LSC Ballroom, a bowling alley and an eating area in the LSC.  The expansion of the LSC will be up for a vote in October. In the meantime, Jenkins said the university is going through what he called a "pre-planning" phase to meet with different departments on campus to get input about the expansion. However, Jenkins had concern about the time limit given for planning. He said that the university is being given three to six weeks of time for pre-planning for what would normally take three to six months.

Next, Jenkins discussed another item going on the student referendum in October. Another potential plan for university expansion is a new student health center. Originally, the plan was to use the existing site to expand the health center, but with King Hall also on the list of buildings to be demolished, Jenkins said it was a "strong possibility" that the new facility could be built on that site.  Jenkins said all research and student input have been gathered for the student health center and graphic renditions of what the building may look like will be available to students by August 22.

SGA Treasurer Jimmy Williams expressed concern over congested parking around the areas of planned construction. While Jenkins could not give a definite answer, he said some ideas in discussions of the LSC expansion were to use the hilly topography of campus to build parking underneath the building to address parking issues, similar to the parking at Sam Houston Village.

"There is no finality to any of these ideas," Jenkins said. "These are just new ideas off the press.

Other proposed plans Jenkins discussed were of a new special event center near the coliseum to house the alumni center, parts of the academic advisement center and a new ballroom.   Other potential construction plans include a new dining facility and residence hall on the south side of campus with new property purchased by the university.

Then, Jenkins updated SGA on other smaller-scale updates to campus facilities. He noted that the university is installing artificial grass on Pritchett Field to combat previous problems with last year’s drought that caused an "unplayable" field.  The field, which costs around $1.1 million, will accommodate club sports, intramural teams and intercollegiate soccer teams. He said it will be completed by September 1.

Next, Jenkins confirmed the University Camp, the home of Bearkat Camp, will be under construction this fall to meet demand from student organizations to have a retreat site close to campus.  "There will be overnight accommodations for 200 people, a swimming pool and one large meeting room and we’re expanding the dining hall all for student organizations to utilize," he said.

Lastly, Jenkins said the Agriculture Facility [on] I-45 will be moving to Gibbs Ranch on 75 North. Once the move is complete, there will be more room for more sports fields on the I-45 spot.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SHSU Searches For New Research Park Site

The July 13 edition of the Item reports that SHSU officials have asked the city to help investigate other sites for its research park:
SHSU determined the original site on Highway 19 is not viable, city sources confirmed Thursday.  That means, Mayor Mac Woodward confirmed, the public hearings to discuss possible annexation of 359 acres of land to include the 160-acre park will be cancelled, and there will be no more discussion of extending $2.1 million in city utilities to the site.

The original site is located in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, miles from city infrastructure, and would have required at least a 12-inch water line extension that would have cost, in addition to sewer line extension, $2.1 million. The developer requested that the city of Huntsville foot the bill. sources confirmed that a recent study on optimum sites for location of a hotel and conference center — like one that would be associated with the research park — identified sites along Interstate 45 as most viable.  These sites would have easy access to Interstate 45 and proximity to existing city utilities.

Over the past month, City Council fielded numerous questions and comments from citizens about the costs associated with utility line extension to the original Highway 19 site, possible annexation of the site, and the lack of consideration given to other sites with fewer associated costs to the city.
More: SHSU: Hwy 19 land still a possibility (Item; July 13)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Memories of Smith-Kirkley

Memories of the dorm, not the two namesakes, in Tuesday's edition of the Houstonian from two former residents:
Construction crews began the demolition of the residence hall on July 3 as a part of the ongoing tear-down to make room for new additions to the Lowman Student Center, according to a university announcement released in May.

Construction of Smith-Kirkley Hall was completed in 1962. It was an all-women’s dorm that housed 266 upperclassmen along with a reception room and dining hall. The building is named after Harriet Francis Smith and Bertha Kirkley. Smith was a geography teacher for SHSU from 1914 to 1941 while Kirkley taught as an assistant in Latin, mathematics and history from 1891 to 1941.

University officials say the demolition of Smith-Kirkley should be complete sometime in August.
Share your memories of the dormitory at KatFans.

(King Hall: you're next.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Citizens Speak On Annexation

The Huntsville Item reports on the Tuesday, July 3 City Council meeting where the proposed SHSU research park was discussed:
The Huntsville City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to push back the first public meeting on the proposed annexation of a university research park to August to allow the city more time to gather information to answer questions raised by citizens.

Sam Houston State University plans to build a research park on a 160-acre tract owned by D’Agostino Companies east of the city limits at Highway 19 and Ellisor Road. The heavily wooded lot, which borders a small subdivision of ranch-style homes, is about 5 miles from SHSU’s campus in Huntsville.

The developer has asked the city to foot the bill for the extension of water and sewer lines to the property — 60 acres of which would be donated to SHSU for use as a research park. Most of the rest of the land would be developed as a private and taxable mixed-use and hotel and convention center complex.

The city is applying for federal grants to help fund the cost of a 12-inch water line to the site but the city would be expected to absorb the rest of the costs.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Crime Lab Closure To create Case Delays

The Conroe Courier reports that the SHSU Regional Crime Lab in the Woodlands will close in September:
The landlord of a building that houses the crime lab testing evidence for Montgomery County law enforcement has found a new tenant, leaving the highly regarded lab with no place to go. The loss of the Sam Houston State University Regional Crime Lab, which opened in November 2010 in The Woodlands, will mean significant delays for results in testing evidence such as blood-alcohol and toxicology tests, said Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam, chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

The crime lab will lose its current home in September because the landlord has found another tenant, said Dr. Vincent Webb, dean of the College of Criminal Justice at SHSU in Huntsville and director of the university’s Criminal Justice Center. “We don’t have a place to go,” Webb said. “We’re looking to move, but we can’t find anything in The Woodlands. We went there in the first place because there was a lab (in the leased building). So, the capital costs (to equip a lab) are beyond our means.”

Purchasing the necessary equipment and configuring a space to hold it would cost between $3 million and $4 million dollars, Webb said.  “We thought we would be in there several more years,” he said.

With the loss of the SHSU crime lab – which serves more than 70 agencies – Montgomery County now will have to send tests to a Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Crime Lab in Austin, which serves many more clients, Diepraam said.

“With the Regional Crime Lab, we got results in a week or two,” he said. “Unfortunately, the DPS lab has a backlog of cases. For drug toxicology tests, it could take six to nine months to get results. That’s a concern to the district attorney that we’ll have people staying in jail while we’re waiting on results.”

From November 2010 to October 2011, the Regional Crime Lab ran 1,034 drug toxicology tests, with 900 of those from Montgomery County, Diepraam previously said. During that same time period, the lab analyzed 4,335 controlled substance evidence items, with 86 percent of them coming from Montgomery County, according to a casework overview by the lab.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Smith-Kirkley Demolition Begins

The demolition of the 50-year-old Smith-Kirkley Hall begins today, according to SHSU:
The contractor will begin the tear down of the Kirkley building (North section) on Saturday, June 30, 2012.  This will create additional traffic including large trucks along Avenue J between 16th and 17th streets. Drivers may want to avoid this area if possible however the parking along Avenue J will not be closed off.

The project began on May 29, 2012 with anticipated project completion by September 4, 2012. Critical demolition and material haul off is expected to be completed by August 25, 2012.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Item: HSU, Developer Discuss Park

Tuesday’s Huntsville City Council meeting again debated the proposed SHSU Research Park northeast of town, according to the Huntsville Item:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pritchett Field Face Lift

The Huntsville Item discusses the goings-on at the historic Pritchett Field, the original home of Bearkat football and current home of women's soccer:
Equipment sits idle at the lower end of Pritchett Field Friday [June 22] afternoon. Sam Houston State University is taking advantage of summer months to renovate the field before school begins in the fall. For the lower field, where the soccer team plays, SHSU is refurbishing the underground plumbing, draining and electrical systems. It is all scheduled to be completed by the second week of September. Work on the upper field is referred to as the Pritchett Field Artificial Turf Project, which calls for replacing the old turf with 87,119 feet of synthetic turf.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Item: Council OK’s Annexation Process

The June 20 edition of the Huntsville Item highlights the City Council's okay to annex the proposed site of the SHSU research park:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bowers Stadium gets a face lift

GoBearkats reports the original seats at Bowers Stadium are being replaced:
Bowers Stadium has undergone a facelift with the removal of the original orange chair back seats installed when the facility first opened for the 1986 Bearkat football season.  A total of 1,040 seats from the west side center sections were disassembled and removed the week of June 11-15.  New wider, more comfortable orange chair back seats will replace the old ones. Installation of the new chair backs is slated for early August in time for Sam Houston's Sept. 8 season opening football game with Incarnate Word.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Building a Mystery: LSC Bookstore

We received an email this week from someone seeking information about the Lowman Student Center (LSC) bookstore, specifically ownership:
I am trying to find information about the bookstore companies that ran the LSC bookstore on campus from 1991 to 1998; I was employed there during part of that time. My memory is foggy, so I have been turning to other resources but so far nobody has record or recollection of the owners/management prior to the current store, which is run by Barnes and Noble.
By our estimation Barnes and Noble has operated the University Bookstore since c.2004. A temporary B&N store stood on the site of the current Chemistry and Forensic Sciences Building c.2003, possibly during and after the interior remodeling of the LSC last decade. Anyway:
I know that Follett was running the bookstore during part of my time there, but I cannot recall if they were the earlier company, or the one that took it over. Follett has no record, having purged all records. I am also pretty sure that the university itself ran the bookstore at one point, and staff was under SHSU payroll. It was not when I worked there, though. Still I know there was a change, because I worked for two companies during my employment and I helped with a changeover, and we had to inventory everything. There was then a clearance of most non-book items, as the new managing company did not want to take on too much inventory. I think the books went back to an outside distribution point. Then the store was emptied of all fixtures, etc. A new company came in and built their layout from scratch.
And there’s where things stand today.

If anyone has any memories of the LSC bookstore – be it any owner, be it any time period, or even be it about that thick, red paperback English Composition I book with a pseudo-engraving of Austin Hall on its cover that, for Fall 1994, was a required purchase but (ahem) was bought back at the end of the semester for mere peanuts because the English Department wasn’t going to use it any longer – and wants to help out a fellow Bearkat, drop us a line. She’d be glad to hear from you.

And I’d personally like to see the cover of that English comp book again, too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gibbs-Powell House at 150

This September the Gibbs-Powell House in Huntsville will celebrate its sesquicentennial, as the Item reports:
The Walker County Historical Commission serves in maintaining the upkeep of the establishment which is a Texas Archaeological Landmark and Historical Landmark. The house, which now functions as a museum, was originally built in 1862 by businessman Thomas Gibbs in the Greek revival style. Gibbs modeled the house after his brother’s across the street which was nearly identical. The building still features much of the original furniture and qualities that it did in the 1860s. The glass window panes and square pillars seen on the exterior of the structure are essential to that of the Greek revival style.  Although it has gone through many changes, the Walker County Historical Commission has left it unchanged in order to preserve some of the town’s most important history.

In its 150 years, the house has served as a home for the Gibbs-Powell families, board for females attending Sam Houston Normal Institute in the nineteenth century, and a museum for modern Huntsville to take a look at the history of its town.

For those keeping track, the house is about a decade younger than Austin Hall (1851-2) and fifteen years younger than the oldest building on the SHSU campus, Sam Houston's Woodlawn Home (1847).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Item: HSU Planning To Open Research Park

The May 5 edition of the Huntsville Item reports that SHSU appears to be planning its first research park in Huntsville (or anywhere!):

Friday, May 4, 2012

SHSU to Celebrate Opening of The Woodlands Center

The grand opening celebration of the new four-story, 144,164 square-foot The Woodlands Center will be May 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. The May 3 edition of the Houstonian discusses the new building:
The public is invited to attend the ribbon ceremony and the dedication of the Lois W. Kolkhorst Atrium presented by SHSU President Dana Gibson.

The Woodlands Center was designed to offer more space for programs provided at The University Center with new classrooms, labs, enrollment counseling, advising, administrative services and a large parking garage.

According to SHSU Heritage Magazine, the Lone Star College System provided SHSU with seven acres of land near The University Center in return for the use of 50 percent of the classrooms and free parking from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. until approximately 2022.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Building News: Parking Expansion

Today’s Houstonian had two articles (count 'em - one, two) discussing parking issues but that also touched on the demolition of two notable dormitories:
King Hall will be demolished and made into a parking lot. Although original planning called for housing in this location, but due to Old Main Market, plans have changed, according to [Vice President of Finance Al] Hooten.

“The location is maxing the capabilities of Old Main Market to effectively handle student traffic and additional parking is greatly needed in this area,” Hooten said.

Since a new dorm will not be put in King Hall’s place, SHSU is planning to build new housing and an additional food service facility on the southern edge of campus, according to Hooten.

“The University is acquiring property at this time between Avenues J and I and the plan is to locate near existing University parking lots,” Hooten said.

Smith-Kirkley will be demolished this summer, and dependent on the student referendum, this space will be used for the expansion of the LSC, according to Hooten.

[Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation David] Kapalko plans on fixing what he believes is the proximity problem by building more parking garages. Lack of funding is keeping this idea at bay for now.

“The University has a series of hurdles to face before we can [build the new garages],” he said. “Right now there are no tuition dollars or state appropriated funds available to do that.”

Kapalko warns new parking garages come at a cost.

“As more garages are built, parking fees will have to increase,” Kapalko said. “It would take $140-150/per month, per space, for a garage to generate sufficient revenue to pay for itself .That means surface lot permit fees will have to increase to subsidize new garages.”

However, he isn’t in a rush to start construction on these garages.

“It is safe to say no garages will begin construction in the next year,” Kapalko said.

Indoor air quality inspections not fully performed in SHSU buildings, documented

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Inaugural Raven’s Call Ceremony

The Huntsville Item reports on the inaugural Raven’s Call Ceremony, held Friday, April 20:
The ceremony, which was created and organized by the Orange Keys Student Ambassadors, was held in front of the Bell Tower on campus and served as a memorial to honor SHSU faculty, students and staff who passed away in the past two years. Family, friends and current and former faculty, staff and students gathered to take part in a the new tradition which will take place annually.

A frosted glass memorial, which will light up orange at night and sits in a flower bed in front of the Bell Tower, was also unveiled at the event.

Apr. 18: SHSU memorial event Friday

Friday, April 20, 2012

Collaboration to improve Student Health Center

The Houstonian reports on the student focus groups that met recently to discuss the Student Health Center:
Several students representing different clubs and organizations on campus were asked to attend. This group included representatives from the nursing program, Program Council, Bearkat Learning Community and Student Activities.

The overall consensus of the building was that it was nice, but nothing defined the building as the SHC. Some students believed it was vacant for the longest time

“The front of the building is not even facing the traffic of campus,” Tobias Steen, junior psychology major, said.

The combining of the Counseling Center and SHC was also discussed. About two thirds of the students knew there was a counseling center and about half knew where it was.

According to [Associate Vice President for Student Services Ken] Jenkins, [architectural programmer Terry] Phillips will take the students’ opinions and along with Tim McGreggor, another architectural programmer, they will draw up possible plans for the SHC. The plans will be shown to the students and a student referendum will be put on the ballot around homecoming for students to vote on whether or not they approve the expansion.

This same process will occur for the Lowman Student Center expansions which is planned to start discussion in May.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Student Government Association Supports Expansions

The April 12 edition of the Houstonian reports the Student Government Association voted on legislation to support expansion of student service buildings. Both Senate Resolution S12-08, "A Resolution in Support of The Health Center and Counseling Center Expansion" and Senate Resolution S12-09,"The Lowman Student Center Expansion" passed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bearkat Power

Today@Sam reports on the latest form of Bearkat power:
Entergy Texas, Inc., and SHSU plugged into the future Wednesday, April 11 with the unveiling of a newly installed electric vehicle charging station in the university’s Sam South parking lot. It is the first electric charging station Entergy has installed in Huntsville. Two other stations are already installed, one each at Texas A&M University in College Station and the Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont. A fourth will be installed at Lamar University in the near future.

In Huntsville, SHSU will allow students, faculty and staff to use the charger at no cost. Entergy Texas will collect usage data for research about the chargers’ impact on consumers and the electric grid.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Environmental Legacies at SHMM

The Item discusses some of the floral history of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum grounds.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

1995 Bearkat Marching Band

An exhibition performance of the SHSU Bearkat Marching Band from 1995 has surfaced on YouTube.  In addition to the music, one can see the original stadium scoreboard and, though it's dark, one might see this is before the baseball and softball stadiums were constructed east of Bowers Stadium.  There's also some banners hanging around for long-gone businesses (i.e. Moore-Henry motors).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Potential LSC Expansion Presented to SGA

Lowman Student Center (LSC) expansion was the recent discussion in the Student Government Association's meeting, according to the report in the April 4 edition of the Houstonian:
The LSC currently has 125,000 gross square feet to service a population of 12,500 people. The master plan created in 2008, [LSC Director Dan] McDaniels told the Senate, asks for 200,000 gross square feet for 20,000 students. Sam Houston State University is steadily growing and is expected to have more than 18,000 students enrolled by next semester, increasing a push for an expansion of the student center.

The facility only has two large meeting rooms; room 320 holds more than 100 people while room 304 holds more than 50.

In spring 2010, students asked the LSC for upgrades and additional entertainment to be added to the Kat Klub. They wanted a brighter space to hangout, television viewing area, video gaming and more computer spaces. After these renovations were made, according to McDaniels, student traffic to the Kat Klub increased by 44 percent while program attendance increased by 92 percent. The amount of student traffic to the Kat Klub has grown by 10 percent since last year.

McDaniels said many students have asked for a bowling center to be added to the Kat Klub; however, with a lack of adequate space in the LSC, this has not been possible. He said the center could be extended to the space of Smith-Kirkley Hall, which will be torn down this May.

It is currently unknown what the cost will be for students in order to expand the LSC. The student center fee cannot increase without a referendum from the students.

“We don’t have the funding for a new student center,” McDaniels said. “We’re still looking for that funding. But what we will look at is as soon as the Board of Regents say that we can proceed, that’s when we’ll get student groups together to say what want in it.”

The LSC was built in 1962 and was renovated in 1984 and 2002. Each renovation cleaned up the existing facility, but did not expand it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Writing on the Wall #11

It’s time for another look-see around campus. Can you identify the building or location where we took the photos that make up the former buildingshsu masthead? Here’s this month's letter and its haiklu:

acolyte of history
look on her works, ye preserved
the soldier's footsteps

Inflatable Old Main to Usher in Homecoming

Today@Sam reported on Friday that Thom Pouge Entertainment of New Waverly had been awarded the contract for the design of the Old Main Moon Walk, or bouncy-party-castle-thing, for the 2012 Homecoming Sam Jam:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Video: Restoring Austin Hall

Work continues on the $2 million restoration of the inside and out of the Austin College Building. As SHSU's oldest academic building, the 160-year-old structure has weathered quite a bit, especially since the fire thirty years ago that destroyed Old Main. KBTX-TV highlights what's being done in their recent story from Huntsville.  Completion is scheduled for May.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gaertner Performing Arts Center Wins Construction Award

You gotta love it when it a building wins an award. More so, when the construction team wins for their work. Today@Sam reports that SpawGlass’s work on the Gaertner Performing Arts Center was recently recognized by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.:
 ...the project...has earned [SpawGlass]  a national Pyramid Award in the institutional category of ABC’s Excellence in Construction Awards. SpawGlass representatives received the award February 22 during the 22nd annual Excellence in Construction Awards celebration at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

“This project is an outstanding example of the innovation and commitment to superior craftsmanship that embody merit shop construction,” said Michael D. Bellaman, ABC president and CEO.

This was the second construction award in recent months recognizing SpawGlass's work on the Gaertner Performing Arts Center. In October 2011, the company was presented the ICE Award for the Center by ABC of Greater Houston. The award is given to the "Best of Houston" project that best represents the industry.

In 2009, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building – another SpawGlass project – won the Award of Excellence in Texas Construction magazine's Best of 2009 competition.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Student Health Center asks SGA for Help

The March 6 edition of the Houstonian discussed the representatives from the Student Health and Counseling Center speaking to the Student Government Association on proposed resolutions:
Drew Miller, Ph. D, executive director of Student Counseling and Health Services, and Sarah Hanel, Director of Student Health Center, presented the Senate with ideas to expand their facilities and combine their services. With a growing student population, the Student Health and Counseling centers are experiencing overcrowding and are having to turn away students on a daily basis with a lack of staff and facilities.

The SHC is due for expansion during the 2013 fiscal year. The expansion will allow for the building of a drive-thru/walk-thru pharmacy, psychiatry/mental health and a wing dedicated to women's health services. There is no request for an increase in student fees at this point.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Time Capsule: 1982

February 11, 1982: On an unsuspecting Thursday 30 years ago, SHSU's 92-year-old Main Building begins its final full day of service to the campus.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Art at the Woodlands Campus

Recent pictures surfaced from artist Dixie Friend Gay of the three-story mural she’s creating for the new SHSU academic building on the Lone Star College Campus in The Woodlands. Friend Gay says the images were inspired by the pond and wetlands area as viewed out the window while standing on the stairwell landing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

University Offers to Purchase Baptist Student Ministry

The Houstonian reports of the university’s interest in owning the land where the Baptist Student Ministry is located:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Austin Hall Undergoes Restoration

Today@Sam reports that SHSU’s oldest academic building is being restored – brick by brick:
Austin Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Sam Houston State University, is in the middle of a restoration that includes extensive repairs and a bit of “dressing up,” according to university officials.

The three foundations that have committed to assisting in the funding for the Austin Hall restoration project include Houston Endowment, Inc., The Brown Foundation, Inc., and The Elkins Foundation. Shutter damage and cracks between bricks will be among the things the $2 million restoration project will work to ameliorate. The project is being paid for through donations by three foundations. Estimated to cost $2 million, the project has benefitted from donations from alumni and businesses as well.

SHSU’s Facilities Planning and Construction Office is leading the project which includes everything from floor refinishing to cupola restoration, as well as the installation of new electrical and plumbing systems.

The bricks with names of generations of Sam Houston State students carved into them will not be replaced with new bricks. They will, however, be taken down so that new mortar can be applied. They will then be “re-placed” in their previous location on the exterior of the building, except for those bricks that have deteriorated beyond use, such as some of the ones below the windows.

The restoration project is scheduled to be completed in May 2012.
No word on what they win if they find the cornerstone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kolkhorst Atrium Named in Honor of Representative

Today@Sam reports that the atrium in the Sam Houston State University—The Woodlands Center building was named in honor of State Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst. The announcement came during a luncheon honoring Kolkhorst on Wednesday, January 18.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Building a Mystery: Home Management Home

One thing about going further back in time through the yearbooks is that the locations of certain buildings are somewhat ambiguous.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

End To Lab’s Federal Funds Means Higher County Costs

The Conroe Courier reports that federal funds have dried up for the SHSU Regional Crime Lab that conducts drug and alcohol tests for Montgomery County law enforcement:
The Sam Houston State University Regional Crime Lab, which is operated by the university’s College of Criminal Justice and located in The Woodlands, started taking evidence from five counties, including Montgomery, in November 2010. A $1.5 million federal grant got the lab up and running.

But those agencies using the lab had agreed to three years of federal funding, after which the lab would complete its transition to becoming self-sustaining through fees, said Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam, chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Diepraam said District Attorney Brett Ligon and SHSU officials have asked U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, to help find additional federal funds to supplement the fees paid by agencies.

The Regional Crime Lab will continue to run the drug toxicology and blood-alcohol tests, but all controlled substance evidence tests now will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety lab in Austin. The average length of time for the Regional Crime Lab to turn around controlled substance tests is about two weeks, while the DPS lab can take up to nine months because of the volume of cases it gets from across the state, Diepraam said.