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Master Plan Phase 1 to be completed in 2014

Senior Reporter

Published: Monday, January 20, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 20, 2014 22:01

construction

Kaleigh Treiber | The Houstonian

Construction workers are currently building the new Student Health and Counseling Center near the Old Main Market cafeteria.

Phase one of the 2020 Master Plan for the campus of Sam Houston State University is set to for completion this year.

The 2020 Master Plan for SHSU was approved by the Board of Regents in August 2008 and includes three phases—the first of which was planned to take six years making 2014 its final year.

In 2012, the original 2008 plan was revised and adjusted to meet the needs of the campus and its growing student population.

SHSU Director of Communications Julia May said one of the biggest advantages to the master plan is that it can easily be modified to adapt to a changing campus.

“The master plan is actually a fluid document that changes as our needs change,” May said.

“You always have to have a road map to guide you as you’re growing and as you’re making your changes and the biggest advantage with this plan is that we’ll be able to serve our students and their needs as they arise.”

According to May, due to rapid enrollment growth between 2008 and 2012, many of the original plans had to be reevaluated and modified.

Over the last five years, Lone Star Hall was built as well as the construction of Old Main Market dining facility, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

The demolition of Smith-Kirkley Hall and King Residence Hall resulted in the possibility for the expansion of the Lowman Student Center as well as additions to the Student Health and Counseling Center and the Events Center/Press Box at Bowers Stadium.

“The administrators monitor trends on campus, such as enrollment, popular majors and workforce demands.” May said. “Then we meet to help those who are making those decisions and long term plans because a lot of thought is put into making these decisions.” 

In addition, facilities off of the SHSU main campus have also undergone renovations including Gibbs Ranch, the University Camp, The Woodlands Center and the future research park.

The major projects still left to be completed before commencement onto phase two of the master plan is the construction of the Agricultural and Engineering Technology building, the Nursing/Biology building, a Shared Special Instruments building and the expansion of the Communications and Central Plant. A complete list of phase one projects can be found on pages 108-109 of the 2020 Campus Master Plan on the SHSU website.

According to an article written by the Houstonian in Fall 2013, several major projects could not begin construction because the Texas Legislature voted against raising the required funding through the issuance of revenue bonds.

The master plan also includes meeting ecological standards and continually looking for ways to improve parking on campus as well as sidewalks for the safety of both pedestrians and bikers.

Phase two is set to fan out over the next seven years and phase three is planned to begin in 2021.

Doug Greening was unable to be reached by press time.

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