With Sam Houston State University quickly becoming one of the fastest growing universities in Texas, administrators decided last semester to update the 10-year campus master plan this year instead of by the 2010 date required by the Board of Regents.
According to the Master Plan listed on the university website, the timeline had to be expedited because the school “has already outgrown the plan that was supposed to last until 2010.”
In his President’s Letter, Dr. James Gaertner said, “Now is the time for us to move this campus, this place, and this Grand Old University into the future.”
The new plan outlines the need to accommodate an additional 1.1 million gross square feet (gsf) of academic space, .5 million residential gsf., 15 acres of surface parking and 10 acres of recreation fields.
New projects include an addition to the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas building, integrated engineering and technology building agriculture complex at Gibbs Ranch, a biology, nursing and allied health building, forensic science building, new College of Business Administration building and a Criminal Justice Center addition.
One of the more pressing proposed additions is a new agricultural facility on campus and improvements at the Gibbs Ranch location.
“[The Master Plan] proposes that we begin planning for [the agriculture] building in 2011,” Dr. David Payne, vice-president of Academic Affairs, said. “The time lines proposed in the plan are somewhat flexible. We would like the wonderful agriculture program to have enhanced facilities.”
Payne said the administration does not know exactly what they will be building, but do know that the new facility will be located at the south end of the campus.
“We need improved facilities for agriculture to meet the needs of growing numbers of high quality students in Agriculture,” stated Dr. Payne.
According to the Master Plan, the agriculture facilities will be relocated from their current I-45 location to the Gibbs Ranch. The I-45 property will then be developed into a recreational center.
Many new improvements are expected to take place in the next 10 years as the university invites more students to enjoy the academic opportunities SHSU has to offer.