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Regents Approve Energy Conservation Project

Feb.11, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

AUSTIN—Sam Houston State University will be taking major steps to reduce its “carbon footprint” over the next two years through a new energy and water conservation project.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents, SHSU’s governing body, authorized the university to enter into an energy services contract with Schneider Electric Buildings Americas, Inc., during its quarterly meeting Feb. 10-11. The company will do work that will result in energy cost savings to SHSU of $33 million over a 20-year period.

The scope of work includes campus-wide lighting retro-fit, improved building automated systems, replacement of equipment and fixtures to reduce water consumption, upgrading laundry equipment to reduce natural gas consumption and installing energy monitoring for optimum building efficiency.

Approximately 117 facilities and 3.5 million square feet of SHSU’s main campus are included in the project. In addition to the projected utility cost savings, the university will receive approximately $371,000 in rebates for implementing energy efficiency measures.

The project will be funded from Texas State University System Revenue Finance System Bonds, subject to approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Bond Review Board.

In other business, the board authorized SHSU to increase room rates by 7 percent, effective in Fall 2011, for Baldwin, Crawford, Creager and Mallon houses; other small houses; King Hall; Belvin and Elliott Halls; Estill Hall; Jackson-Shaver Hall; White Hall; Sam Houston Village; Raven Village; and Bearkat Village apartments.

SHSU requested the increase to cover the costs of operations, renovations and repairs and because free laundry is being offered as a new amenity in all halls.

The board also approved new meal plan rates. For mandatory meal plans the rates will increase by 2.7 percent on the 20-meal plan (from $1,290 to $1,325) and by 4.9 percent (from $1,215 to $1,275) on the 15-meal plan.

For the voluntary plans, the increase will be 4.32 percent (from $575 to $600) for the any-5-meal plan and 4.4 percent (from $182 to $190) for the 25-meal semester plan.

SHSU requested the increase to address the impact of cost-of-living increases, cost-of-goods inflation, the expansion of campus facilities, and the contractor cost to meet student demand.

The regents also approved naming SHSU’s newest residence facility “Lone Star Hall” on completion of the project. Students selected the name in an election in November 2010.

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