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: