Regents Vote Approval for
Preliminary plans for the $4.7 million renovation of the Administration Building on the Sam Houston State University campus were approved Friday, but not without considerable discussion concerning the merit of spending that much money to fix up an old building.
Administration Building Work
Work on the project, the last major academic building renovation on the SHSU campus, could begin in early fall if Ferro-Saylors, Inc. architects of Houston find no serious structural problems and the SHSU regents continue to support the project.
The Texas State University System board of regents approved the plans and asked the architects to proceed with detailed plans and specifications for bidding in anticipation of a construction contract being awarded at the August 1998 board meeting.
A representative from Ferro-Saylors told the board that project costs have been increased by the necessity of removing asbestos from the building, the fact that no structural documents exist from when the building was completed in 1916, and the deterioration of the building's terra cotta trim.
When the project is completed it will house offices of the university president, vice president for finance and operations, vice president for academic affairs, the registrar's office, and others.
Bobby K. Marks, Sam Houston president, read excerpts prepared by university master planner Ralph Spencer in which Spencer said that the building is the best example of neo-classical architecture on the SHSU campus, that its style unifies the older "west campus" with the newer buildings to the east, and that the building "should be preserved."
"In an institution as old Sam Houston State University," Marks said, "there is a great feeling of pride in the buildings on campus, especially since the loss of Old Main. Not restoring the Administration Building would be a big disappointment not only to our campus but to the Huntsville community."
The board also took the following action relating to SHSU:
- Issued a $139,965 purchase order to Ashford Glass & Mirror of Houston for replacement of discolored glass in the atrium and skywalk areas of the Lee Drain Building, with the glass panels being supplied at no cost to the university by the glass manufacturer;
- Employed the F.E.U.L.S. Facility Engineering company of Houston to design improvements to the Lowman Student Center's heating and air conditioning equipment and Burger King restaurant's exhaust ducts, at an estimated cost of $165,000 and to design improvements to the Belvin-Buchanan and Elliott dorms' heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, at an estimated cost of $130,000;
- Approved a telecommunications plan, subject to further approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, for use in two-way interactive video presentations between the main campus and satellites such as The University Center in The Woodlands;
- Approved a $236,000 contract with J & M Contracting of Huntsville for the construction of a new farm shop building, and;
Under the revised provisional admission procedure, students will no longer be allowed to do provisional work during the fall and spring long semesters.
- Revised the current provisional admission procedure for students who do not meet regular admission requirements to allow students to qualify by attending two summer semesters at SHSU or transferring work from a community college.
Marks told the regents that the success rates of students attempting such work during the long semesters has been low, and that encouraging the work to be done during summers and at area community colleges will promote more efficient use of SHSU's limited financial resources for remediation programs.
Of the 456 students who attempted to qualify for admission in the 1996 and 1997 fall semesters, he said, less than one in four were successful.
The Texas State University System, which includes Angelo State, Lamar, Sam Houston State, Southwest Texas State and Sul Ross State universities, is the third largest higher education affiliation in Texas, with an enrollment of more than 56,000.
Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Feb. 20, 1998