Plans set for facility additions

Two SHSU departments are planning to add new sections to their buildings beginning in 2003 and 2004.

The College of Business Administration is planning to create a new addition to the Smith-Hutson Business Building that will roughly double its existing workspace.

R. Dean Lewis, dean of the College of Business Administration, said the construction would extend to the parking lot south of the building, and create new faculty offices and classroom space. A new auditorium that will hold 158 people will also be added next to the existing Ronald P. Mafrige Auditorium.

“We have faculty in three buildings; we have classrooms in two,” Lewis said. “We’re out of space; that’s why we’re getting the additions.”

The Smith-Hutson Building currently has 45,000 square feet of workspace, but the construction will add an additional 42,000 square feet. The project will cost approximately $38.5 million, and should begin next year.

“”It’s expected to start by January of ’04,” Lewis said. “We should be in the building by fall ’05.”

Lewis said the project is still in the planning phases, particularly the architectural aspects. The locations of columns, lights, computer ports and podiums still need to be decided. He said the actual office spaces and classrooms are pretty much set.

The College of Business Administration originally planned to renovate the existing building, but after consulting the projected growth estimates for the college, decided new space was needed. The addition will be three stories tall with all floors accessible from the existing building.

The first and third floor will be mostly classroom space, and the second floor will be primarily faculty offices. There is also room set aside for departmental suites, student and teacher lounges and study areas. When completed, the additions will allow for 14 extra classrooms and 38 new offices, allowing most of the faculty and students to be centralized in one building.

“We’re going to get everyone together,” Lewis said. “The faculty and classes in one building. We need the classes very badly.”

Lewis added that with the current growth rate, the additions would probably keep the university’s business students and faculty satisfied for the next eight to 10 years, and that extra space will probably still be reserved in Academic Building One to accommodate extra students.

“I think we will continue our growth trend, which will benefit the college and the university,” Lewis said.

Also scheduled for renovation is the Teacher Education Center, which will have a new wing added to help accommodate facilities for a new doctorate program in counseling education now offered by SHSU.

Genevieve Brown, dean of the College of Education and Applied Science, said the college was planning to add the new doctorate program even without the new space, but will take advantage of the new space to house the needed facilities.

“It will have a clinic where doctoral and master’s students will counsel members of the community,” Brown said. “Children, teenagers and family, a free service to the community.”

The funds for the project came from a fund designated for construction purposes. Brown said the project is still in a bid process, but that construction will probably begin in late spring and the new facility won’t be operable before spring 2004.

The new extension will head out towards Johnson Coliseum. Brown said the college’s new wing would help expand the amount of clinical help the college provides to the Huntsville community.

“We do it now on a limited basis, but now we’ll be able to meet new needs in the community,” said Brown.

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