Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Time Capsule: December 3, 1913

For 100 years, journalism students at Sam Houston State University have documented the changing campus and community in the pages of the Houstonian. Since December 3, 1913 the student-run voice of SHSU has not only served as an information source for and by the students but has also given students interested in pursuing a career in journalism a valuable experience. A century later the Houstonian continues the communication online and through social networking sites.

From today's centenary edition:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Writing on the Wall #13

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 another letter and its haiklu:

Be minding one's own
Honoring study, practice
Your answer is key

Friday, November 29, 2013

Video: Buildingshsu Project Promotion-thing (1998)

I’ve been going through a box of audio and video cassettes from the KSHU days in an attempt to digitize everything (the oldest of the audio cassettes turn 20 next year...) and I’ve found a few gems nestled in between projects for RTF 335 (Single Camera and Non-Linear Editing I) and packages for Cable Seven News.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Houstonian: New Residential District Construction Underway

The November 20 edition of the Houstonian discusses the new $70 Million residential district recently begun on the south side of campus:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Video: New LSC Field, Old Art Complex

Stephen Green has two packages produced for KSHU-TV: one about the temporary field constructed behind the Lowman Student Center (where Smith-Kirkley Hall stood) and another on the conditions of the art complex:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Remembering: White Hall

While surveying the land for information on the former White Hall cafeteria we discovered the Great Indoorsman sharing some disturbing memories of his time living on campus during the mid-1980s. He remembers the former cafeteria all too well:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SHSU Under SGA Scrutiny During ADA Compliance Investigation

The [Nov. 5] edition of the Houstonian says the SHSU Student Government Association (SGA) is investigating the university’s alleged noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on campus:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Demolition of Richmond Apartments and Adjacent Structures To Begin

The SHSU Physical Plant reports [Oct. 25] that in preparation for the upcoming new residential facility and parking lot on the south campus, demolition of the former Richmond Apartments and nearby structures on SHSU property will begin "during the next 10 days":

Friday, October 25, 2013

Art Walk, Gallery To Bring SHSU Art Culture To Downtown

News at Today@Sam regarding the Student Art Association's third annual Art Walk in downtown Huntsville plus a new gallery space:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

SHSU Sues Contractors For Sam Houston Village Damages

This week the Houstonian reported that SHSU filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Walker County Civil Court against contractor and property developer American Campus Communities and its subsidiaries seeking more than $9 million in damages to the decade-old Sam Houston Village (SHV) dormitory:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

University Hotel Making Adjustments After Alarming Fire Report

The Houstonian reports that the University Hotel had nine fire safety problems identified in a State Fire Marshal audit from February, according to Steve Shields, Director of Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management. Five issues have been fixed and the last two have been scheduled and funded:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

LSC Expansion Land Used As Field Until Further Funding Found

The Houstonian reports that the former site of Smith-Kirkley Hall - land to be used for expanding the Lowman Student Center - will be used a field until funds can be collected:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

90.5 The Kat Celebrates 40 Years

Hey, check it out: KSHU had a birthday. Stay informed and impress your friends with this brief from the Houstonian (Oct. 9):

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2014 SHSU Construction Projects On Track

Tuesday's Houstonian [Oct. 1] reveals that SHSU officials are confident that the Texas State University System Capital Improvements program remains on schedule despite the inability of the Texas Legislature to pass tuition revenue bonds to fund said projects:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Houstonian: TSUS Bonds Still Waiting For Approval

Today's Houstonian reports that Texas State University System officials say bonds have not yet been sold to fund a series of SHSU construction projects as part of an upcoming, system-wide Capital Improvements Program:

Ag Arena Construction Pushed Back Due To Lack Of Funds

Earlier this month the Houstonian reported that some building projects would be delayed because of funding. Today they report that the development of the Gibbs Ranch arena joins that list:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Item, Houstonian: HSU No Longer Interested In Army Reserve Property

Both the Item and Houstonian have coverage of the surprise announcement, released yesterday:

"Sam Houston State University is no longer interested in acquiring the Army Reserve property and will find an alternative solution to serve our ROTC and Veterans Affairs programs."

Student Health and Counseling Center Will Break Ground In October

The Houstonian reports today that SHSU plans to begin the "active construction phase" of the new Student Health and Counseling Center on October 21:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Item: HSU Denies Lease, Aims To Buy Property

The Item reported September 13 that SHSU officials said no to Maalouf Properties on an offer of a $135,000-a-year lease on property it wants on Sam Houston Avenue:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Water Main Breaks Behind SHSU Parking Garage

From the Houstonian:

A water main broke on campus at the intersection of 17th Street and Ron Randleman [Avenue I] , according to a Huntsville Public Utilities official.  The official said that water mains have been breaking all over town due to hot weather conditions and the ground shifting.  "It will take several hours [to fix]," he said. "We aren't in a part of town where we can just turn the water off."  Traffic leaving the Parking Garage is being directed down 17th Street.

Item: City Denies ‘Property’ Meeting

The latest in the battle for the former army reverse property includes City of Huntsville personnel denying meeting with SHSU officials specifically on the property in question, reports the Huntsville Item [Sep. 11]:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Houstonian: SHSU Denied Legislative Bonds For New Buildings

Several SHSU departments will be re-evaluating growth plans, the Houstonian reported on September 10, because the Texas Legislature failure to pass tuition revenue bonds:

Residence Halls Overcrowded, New Dorm Pushed Back

The September 10 edition of the Houstonian highlights some of the issues in student housing that begin the Fall 2013 semester:

2013 State of the University Address

Today's Houstonian has some highlights from SHSU President Dana Gibson's September 5 State of the University:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Item: Gibson, Maalouf Dispute Land Offer

The Friday 6 edition of the Huntsville Item has more on the land dispute between SHSU and developer Tarek Maalouf:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Houstonian: Viewpoints: Army Reserve Center, Eminent Domain, And So On

The Houstonian's September 3 edition features letters from both SHSU President Dr. Dana Gibson and Huntsville developer Tarek Maalouf, president of Maalouf Properties, surrounding the sale of the former Army Reserve Center from the City of Huntsville.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Item: Coverage of Army Reserve Center Property, Eminent Domain

Sam Houston State University intends to acquire property at 2257 Sam Houston Avenue, recently purchased from the city by Maalouf Properties, through purchase or condemnation. The land, which contains a former Army Reserve Center, is included in SHSU’s long-range master planning for use by its ROTC and veterans’ programs. The conflict began in July.  Below is the Huntsville Item's coverage of the property, it's sale, and the aftermath from mid-to-late August.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Item: Maalouf Land Sale Now Final

According to the August 23 Huntsville Item, Maalouf Properties and the city of Huntsville have finalized the $650,000 agreement to sell 2.5 acres of land occupied by the former Military Reserve Building on Sam Houston Avenue:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Item: egents Want Negotiations On Maalouf Property

The Huntsville Item reports [Aug. 17] that the Texas State University System authorized SHSU to acquire property occupied by the Military Reserve Building on Sam Houston Avenue through negotiation and purchase:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Item: Purchase or condemnation: SHSU wants $650,000 Maalouf property

The Huntsville Item reports (Aug. 11) that SHSU is threatening to condemn an abandoned Military Reserve Building on Sam Houston Avenue if the winning bidder, Tarek Maalouf of Maalouf Properties in Huntsville, does not agree to sell it the land:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Call for Student Health and Counseling Center Art

Sam Houston State University's Department of Facilities Planning and Construction invites artists to submit proposals for art for new the Student Health and Counseling Center.  SHSU, in consultation with the SHSU Art Committee and Lawrence Group Architects, has targeted the following potential art opportunities within the new building:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Preparation Begins For Student Health And Counseling Center

Construction prep-work is underway along 17th Street as the lawns of Belvin-Buchanan and Elliot halls are dug up to prepare for the new Student Health and Counseling Center, according to the July 16 Houstonian:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Museum to Honor Houston’s Memory with Funeral Reenactment

The Item reveals - in a July 7 article - SHSU's plans for celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of General Sam Houston:
The 150th anniversary of Houston’s death will include a presentation by Texas Historical Commission interpretive planner Hal Simon on [Friday] July 26, the actual anniversary of Houston’s death, followed by a tour of the Steamboat House and a reenactment of Houston’s funeral on [Saturday] July 27.

“Sam Houston died on July 26, 1863, and his funeral was held the next afternoon,” said Danielle Brissette, museum historical interpreter. “The 150th anniversary is a momentous occasion, warranting more than simply a moment of silence. The events we have planned will be tasteful, informative, unique, educational and even fun. It should be interesting for the whole family. ...we have an excellent opportunity at our museum because we are lucky enough to have the actual house in which Sam Houston died and in which his funeral was held. The [Steamboat House] was moved to our museum in the early 20th century, but it was originally located near Oakwood Cemetery. We even have some of the original artifacts that were in the home when Sam Houston passed.”

The event will conclude with a masonic funeral reenactment, from 1:30-2 p.m. at the main Museum Rotunda, featuring local masons who have researched how Masonic funerals of the time were performed.

“We know that the local masons from Forrest Lodge No. 19 performed Sam Houston’s funeral in 1863, and these masons will help us to honor this event in 2013,” Brissette said. “It’s something we’re very excited about and just one of the aspects that will make this year’s event completely different from the one last year.”

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Item: City Council Awards Property Bid Despite SHSU Contention

A July 2 Item article says at the most recent Huntsville City Council meeting SHSU made a late attempt to stop the $650,000 purchase of the Army Reserve Building by Maalouf Properties, LLC, citing needs for expansion of the university’s Army ROTC and various veterans programs:

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bill OKs TDCJ-SHSU Land Deal

The Huntsville Item reports [June 29] that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will be donating land to SHSU as a site for its planned research park criminal justice programs after a bill sponsored by State Sen. Charles Schwertner was signed by the governor in May.
The Item issued a correction to this story on July 3 (details below).

Senate Bill 1157 allows The Texas Department of Criminal Justice to donate more than 78 acres of land, in a parcel located on Highway 75 North across from the City Service Center, to the university by no later than Jan. 1, 2014. SHSU Vice-President of Finance and Operations Al Hooten said the land would be used for its so-called research park, which will include the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas and Correctional Management Institute of Texas programs.

“It is our intent to relocate the LEMIT and CMIT programs and provide other training facilities for TDCJ at that site,” Hooten said. “It is our desire that these efforts will further our long-standing working relationship with TDCJ in the area of criminal justice.  Also, the relocation of these programs from the main campus to this property releases considerable space that the University needs for the continued growth of academic programs at the main campus."

The programs are currently located in the criminal justice center on the main campus of SHSU. The programs provide training for law enforcement officers from U.S. and international departments. It’s unclear if other programs will join LEMIT and CMIT at the location after getting less than half the acreage than originally planned.

The new park site is located adjacent to the HEARTS Veterans Museum, which Hooten said SHSU supports, but the university would not own the property.

Plans for the a research park were formally announced on Sept. 6, 2012, when Dr. Dana Gibson, SHSU president, spoke to the university in her annual address to faculty and staff.

View buildingshsu in a larger map

In a written statement to the Item’s request for information about the signing of Senate Bill 1157...nowhere did Vice President Hooten refer to the use of the land as a research park. The land, as stated in the response from the university, will be used to relocate the LEMIT and CMIT programs and provide other training facilities for TDCJ at that site. While Sam Houston State University continues to investigate options for establishing a research park in the future, there are no plans to begin construction of a research park at the location mentioned in the article.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Austin Hall Renovations Receive Commendation

Today@Sam reports Austin Hall was honored by the Victorian Society in America with a commendation for the building’s recent exterior restoration.  The award was presented at society's annual meeting in Florida on April 27, 2013.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 2013 Regents Report

Today@Sam has their report on the quarterly meeting of the Texas State University System Board of Regents:
[T]he regents authorized SHSU to add a College of Health Sciences; rename the Department of Nursing to the School of Nursing; move the School of Nursing in the College of Science to the College of Health Sciences; and move the Department of Health and Kinesiology from the College of Education to the College of Health Sciences.

"Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 will drive the need for an expanded health professions workforce," Gibson said. "One estimate indicates a need for 400,000 new health professional in Texas during this decade in addition to replacing a rapidly aging health professions workforce that accounts for at least 10 percent of Texas jobs.

"Furthermore, recent data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that adjacent counties east and northeast of Sam Houston State University are considered the least healthiest in Texas," she said.

"SHSU currently offers only a small number of health sciences degree programs, yet there are currently 1,348 students actively enrolled in pre-nursing or other pre-professional programs, most of whom will be denied admission to the Bachelor of Science Nursing program or other programs due to limited capacity," Gibson said.

"New degree programs in the College of Health Sciences will provide expanded access to health sciences education and careers for SHSU students, especially those from adjacent counties east and northeast of Huntsville," she said.

In other business, SHSU was granted permission to add a swimming pool to the University Camp Phase 2 Project.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Active Shooter Drills On SHSU Campus Today

From the Huntsville Item:
Today at 1 p.m., Walker County law enforcement agencies along with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Office of Inspector General will participate in the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) on the SHSU campus.

Members of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Huntsville and Sam Houston State police departments and the OIG will receive training on how to respond to a number of active shooter situations through simulated, live-action drills.

The ALERRT Center at Texas State University-San Marcos was established in 2002 following the deadly mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two teenagers murdered 12 of their fellow students and one teacher in 1999.

The program’s curriculum has become the standard that law enforcement agencies around the country use to train for active shooter emergencies.

For the past 11 years, ALERRT has used more than $27 million in state and federal grant funding to train more than 40,000 law enforcement officers.

Today’s training session will be taught by veteran Special Weapons and Tactics team specialists with experience in active shooter situations and training.

The drills will be conducted at the Smith-Hutson Building and the Spivey House Residence Hall on the SHSU campus.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New Videoboard Coming to Sanders Stadium announces the addition of a new video/score board at Don Sanders Stadium (which they note is the university's "modern baseball facility"):
Bud Haney and Don Sanders, both Bearkat alums, have teamed to donate $240,000 towards the $300,000 cost of the video board. Installation of the top-of-the-line board by Daktronics is set to begin this summer to be ready for the 2014 Bearkat baseball season.

Dimensions for the new board will be 31 feet, 10.4 inches tall by 36 feet wide. The board will feature a 20mm video display with 198 lines of resolution by 360 columns of resolution.

The board also will feature four sponsor advertising opportunities to provide additional revenue for the Bearkat athletic program.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Satellite Image of Dorm Fast-Tracks Its Demolition

White Hall, the 140-bed dormitory on the south side of the SHSU campus, is being fast-tracked for demolition, reports Today@Sam, due to a suggestive satellite appearance:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February 2013 Regents Report

Today@Sam reports on the updated Master Plan approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents during their recent meeting:
The regents approved a 2013-2020 master plan update and authorized SHSU to file the update with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The most recent SHSU campus master plan for the period of 2009-2020 was approved in 2008. However, new enrollment and academic trends began emerging after the implementation and as a result, the university’s space utilization analysis did not show the improvement expected, SHSU President Dana Gibson told the regents.

“The campus infrastructure needed a comprehensive review focusing on the renewal of existing systems and expansion to serve new facilities,” she said. “A conscious effort has been made to update the master plan and build on the efforts of the 2008 plan as a planning tool to give the university the flexibility to address changing demographics and teaching approaches,” she said.

Among the proposed construction projects, some of which were previously identified, are south district residence facilities, a south dining facility, new academic buildings for nursing and biology, and an agricultural and engineering technology building.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Austin Hall Named To National Register Of Historic Places

Today@Sam writes that's the university's oldest building is on tap to receive another honor:
Austin Hall, the oldest building, and most notable landmark, on the campus of Sam Houston State University, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a federal program to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

“The application process required extensive research and documentation about the architectural distinction and historical significance of the building,” said Mac Woodward, director of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.  The application was first submitted to the Texas Historical Commission for review.  The university received official word that the building had been approved for the listing on Jan. 30.
Read the full file on the Austin Hall from

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Houstonian: SHSU Discusses Location for Food Pantry

An interesting piece from Tuesday's (Jan. 22) Houstonian about finding a location for the on-campus food pantry:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Student Health and Counseling Center Plans Underway

Plans for the new Student Health and Counseling Center are underway according to yesterday's Houstonian:
The team met Jan. 9 to explain to the potential architects and contractors the bidding process. The architects and contractors have to submit documentation talking about previous projects that they have done and how they can contribute to the project.

The construction management team met Wednesday and looked through what people have submitted to see what their qualifications are, according to SHC director Sarah Hanel.

Hanel said on Jan. 25 the university will meet and announce the short list of companies they would like a presentation from and an opportunity to interview. By Feb. 7 the interviews will be complete and the most qualified contracting and architectural company will be selected on Feb. 8.

Jan. 25 they plan to break ground at the old King Hall location. This is across the street from their current location.

"A lot of the Health Centers traffic comes from new Lone Star Hall and a lot of the freshman dorms surrounding us as well as Old Main Market," according to Hanel.

The estimated breaking of ground is in October of this year and the building is hoped to be finished in the summer of 2014.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013-14 Residence Life Changes

The Department of Residence Life has announced housing changes for the 2013-14 academic year. The biggest change is that beginning in Fall 2013, all first year students in the Bearkat Learning Community will live on the 4th floor of Raven Village. The BLC began in Fall 2001 and moved to Randel and Vick houses in Fall 2002. Those two houses will now be open for all classifications.

Elsewhere, academic areas – which offer 24 hour quiet areas to encourage a study environment - include the ground floor of Belvin Hall, the 3rd of Elliott Hall, or, for honors students, Spivey House.

Finally, scheduled summer repairs include:
  • Elliott Hall: interior painting
  • Estill and Jackson-Shaver halls: addressable smoke alarms in resident rooms
  • Estill Hall: fire sprinkler system
  • Shaver, Gibbs, Houston, and Jackson houses: carpet in public areas
  • Bearkat Village: cameras in clubhouse and laundry rooms

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

SHSU Research Park Idea Retooled

SHSU has hired a director for a planned research park that could bring new jobs — and other forms of economic development — into the city, reports the Huntsville Item.
Terry Stokes started work in November at SHSU, tasked with developing a master plan for a research park that might house criminal justice-related technology programs.

Stokes said he’s in the process of reviewing previous proposals for sites of the planned park, which include a 200-acre plot of land on Ellisor Road and Highway 19 in Walker County, about 8 miles from the main SHSU campus. About 160 acres of the site would have been donated to the university by the D’Agostino family. At full build-out, the complex would have included, according to developer plans, a full-service hotel and other private tenants.

But consideration of this site became controversial last summer when the Huntsville City Council began to consider commitment of $2 million in providing utility infrastructure to the site, which borders the city’s sewage treatment plant, and annexation of the site and land between it and the city limits. The Ellisor Road site has recently been advertised for sale.

Citizens who spoke out against annexation and using tax funds to build utility lines to the site were critical of its suitability, based on its distance from the city, its access from a two-lane highway and its close proximity to a sewage treatment plant

Critics also pointed to other sites along Interstate 45 near existing utility infrastructure and with immediate access to I-45. SHSU officials postponed public discussion of the Ellisor Road site after acknowledging that the city’s draft hotel study had identified superior sites along I-45.

Master planning efforts will yield details Stokes said he doesn’t yet have — such as what sites might be considered, the total anticipated project cost from site acquisition to completion, the types of programs to be housed at the park, and whether new jobs will be created for Walker County’s existing workforce.