JJR presents 3 alternatives at fourth Campus Master Plan

Yesterday, March 5, JJR made their fourth visit to the Sam Houston campus to further develop the 2020 Campus Master Plan. The meeting was held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

The presentation by Doug Kozma, Cory Gallo and Tim Rorvig was conducted through a PowerPoint presentation outlining potential changes, a question and answer session, and an interactive dot display.

“We’re embarking on a very important exercise for Sam Houston. It is a master plan, it is a long-term view of your campus. This is your campus. This is where you live, work and play, and we’re tools in a great big toolbox,” Kozma said.

So far, JJR has visited the campus over the course of the fall semester to gather information, reactions and get a feel for the campus and its positives and negatives. At the moment, the development of the master plan is at the beginning of the development of the preliminary plan.

“We’re going to finalize the plan, as you can see, by July,” Kozma said. “In another month, we’ll put everything on one sheet of paper for you.”

One major consideration of the master plan is the growth trajectory of the school. At the moment, the school is expanding at approximately 3.15%, but the school board hopes to maintain a 2% increase over the next two years, according to JJR. With the 2% projection, by the year 2020, there will be just under 20,000 students attending Sam Houston State University, an important consideration for the development of the master plan.

“We need to make up a little ground and maintain a trajectory to get you to 2020,” Kozma said. “We want to build on the traditions you have already, and that’s an important part of this planning exercise.”

JJR has prepared three different projections, which they call Alternative A, Alternative B and Alternative C, presented in slideshow form by Cory Gallo.

“They all are alternative directions, not one of them is the right solution,” Gallo said. “These are three ideas that we are developing to bring together everything we’ve heard so far and make a physical example of how we can fit it on campus in a way that works.”

We’re talking about ideas and we want to hear from if you if they’re good or bad.”

Alternative A involves changes with just the current campus layout. Possible plans include more residential areas in the north and south, additional recreational fields and center expansion, more storage and service, three new parking structures, parking on the agricultural campus with shuttle services, street alterations, a new student center, north and south dining, an expanded library, a new hotel/conference center, a new alumni center, a new art office, administrative services in an expanded AB2, a new business school, and a new science building and expansion of the Criminal Justice building.

Alternative B involves north and south expansion, residential expansion, recreation and athletics expansion, two new parking structures, road changes, removal of the west plant with a new south plant, an expanded student center, a new library, a satellite recreational center on the agriculture camps, a new hotel/conference center on the agricultural campus, the alumni center in a renovated AB2, the library on Sam Houston Avenue behind Austin Hall with a connecting bridge, a new business school, new science building, new admin services, the Criminal Justice building expanded, new art office and reconfigured complex.

Alternative C involves two new parking structures, with more surface parking and new land acquisitions, possibly selling part of or all of the agricultural portion, a new student center, north dining, new library, expanded recreational center, a new alumni center, a new business school, new science building, new administrative services, expanded Criminal Justice building into the horseshoe and a new and relocated art complex.

“In the last scheme it was very much an architectural edge to Sam Houston, this one is very much a green edge to the campus,” Gallo said. “So it feels very different with the surrounding land uses.”

During the discussion, the new mall area was brought up by an audience member. It is a very recent renovation called for by Spencer’s expiring master plan. According to JJR, they like the new mall area, including input from both from their own perspectives as well as an overwhelming positive response from students.

“It’s expectedly mixed. There’s more for them to react to now,” Rorvig said. “This happened in our morning session- everybody migrated to C.

“It’s a very unanimous decision – if there is such thing – that art should be to where it is in C. Nobody liked the library that was shown in C. Everybody liked the expansion of the library in its current location.”

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