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Regents Approve $40 Million
For New Buildings, Improvements, Equipment

Plans for Sam Houston State University projects, improvements, and equipment totaling more than $40 million were approved Friday by the university's board of regents, as well as a new degree and the division of a department.

"The projects approved today and others in various stages of planning will certainly change the face of this great old campus and put a smile on it," said James F. Gaertner, who recommended the actions to the regents during a regular quarterly meeting in Alpine.

Approval for most of the additions and changes is also required from the coordinating board for state colleges and universities.

Regent action included:

  • Employment of C. F. Jordan, Limited Partners of College Station to design and build the Bearkat Village I and Bearkat Village II apartment style student housing project, at an expected cost of $15 million.

    The project at the intersection of Bowers Boulevard and Montgomery Road will be the first residence halls constructed since 1962, and will replace several residence halls demolished in recent years because of poor condition or to make room for other structures.

  • Employment of F & S Partners, Inc. of Dallas to design a recreation center with a project cost estimated at $6.7 million. It will include a 40,000 square foot addition to provide a new indoor/outdoor swimming pool, weight room, multipurpose room and basketball court.

    One possible configuration is to connect the addition to the southwest corner of the present Health/Kinesiology Building.

  • Employment of Graeber, Simmons & Cowan Architects, Inc. of Austin to design a 32,500 square foot addition to the Smith/Hutson Business Building, with an estimated project cost of $5.8 million.

    The College of Business Administration has experienced a growth rate of 40 percent over the past five years and projects an additional growth rate of 4 percent per year for the next 10 years. The college is now housed in three buildings and will consolidate into the present Smith/Hutson Building and the planned annex.

  • Employment of C. P. Snider Construction Company, Inc. of Austin to design and build a 300-400 vehicle parking structure just north of the Lowman Student Center, at an expected cost of $4.5 million. The facility is expected to provide additional campus parking on a daily basis as well as badly needed parking for events in the student center.

  • Approval of the demolition of the Baseball Indoor Practice Facility, which had previously been used as a vehicle maintenance shop, near Holleman Field, at a cost not to exceed $50,000.

    The board previously approved the sale of $4 million in bonds for construction of a baseball, softball, and dressing room complex in the Bowers Stadium area. Details of that project await further approval by the regents as well as the coordinating board.

  • Employment of Brown Reynolds Watford Architects of College Station to design a 5,000 square foot South Campus Dining Facility, at an expected cost of $2 million. SHSU has no dining facility on the south side of the campus.

    "The existence of 10 south-side residence halls with approximately 600 residents and the hundreds of commuter students parking on the south side justifies a need for this facility," Gaertner told the regents.

  • Employment of HMC of College Station to design a campus-wide card entry system to replace the current lock and key system, to provide greater building security and more accountability of those authorized entry into buildings. Estimated cost is $1.5 million.

  • Employment of PDG Architects, Inc. of Houston to design a 5,500 to 6,000 square foot addition to the southwest corner of the Teacher Education Center at an expected cost of $1 million.

    The space will be needed as the result of approval for the College of Education and Applied Science to offer a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Education.

  • Employment of Huitt-Zollars, Inc. of Houston to design a Visitors' Center, at an expected cost of $900,000. The Visitors' Center will provide a location for visitors and prospective students to obtain directions or information about the campus, and will be built near the intersection of Sam Houston Avenue and Bowers Boulevard (20th Street).

    It will include areas for receiving visitors, several private conference areas, offices and support space for staff.

  • Approval of preliminary plans for renovation of the Estill Classroom Building, prepared by Huitt-Zollars, Inc. of Houston, at an expected cost of $600,000. With relocation of the Department of History to the new classroom/office building in the spring of 2003, the new space on the southeast corner of the second floor and north side of the third floor will provide space for the payroll and registrar offices.

  • Approval of preliminary plans for exterior campus signage prepared by Brown Reynolds Watford Architects, Inc. of College Station, at an expected cost of $500,000.

    The project will include exterior signage for way finding, directional street signage, parking lot signage, and information kiosks.

    "Our current system of signage requires updating and modern sign systems will contribute to both our recruitment and retention efforts," said Gaertner.

  • Approval for the purchase of 400 computer workstations, at an estimated cost of $400,000, during the coming fiscal year. The new equipment will allow SHSU to maintain its commitment to provide a workstation with current technology to all faculty and to equip student computer labs with current technology workstations.

  • Approval of the addition of a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in composite science in the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning in January, 2003.

    In April, 2001, the State Board for Educator Certification approved new secondary level certificates and deleted some current ones. Shortages of teachers certified in biology, chemistry, earth science and physics have made it difficult for some schools to provide certified teachers in these areas.

  • Approval for the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences to become two departments; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Computer Science, effective in the 2003 spring semester.

    "With increasingly competitive markets, it is critical that our computer science program obtains a separate identity for purposes of student recruitment, faculty recruitment, and program marketing," said Gaertner.

At a previous meeting of the regents, approval was given for a $18 million renovation and addition to the Farrington Building, which houses the chemistry and physics departments. Projects in various stages of planning and approval total more than $60 million.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Aug. 30, 2002
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