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.