Construction to level out the area behind Sam Houston State University’s Lowman Student Center will create an outdoor field intended for use by students and organizations, according to Daniel McDaniel, LSC director.
“The idea for the area is that maybe we could bring the Sam Jam carnival here, Greek life events, and other outdoor student activities,” McDaniel said. “Right now, the only other outdoor places students really have to go are the intermural fields and the Farrington pit.”
Due to the steep incline of the land, McDaniel said leveling it out is necessary for students to adequately be able to take advantage of it. Upon leveling, the area will be covered with grass and an automatic sprinkler system will also be installed.
Although the field will be used by students over the course of the next few years, it is only a temporary void until funding for the LSC expansion comes through. Once that happens, the LSC will be expanded and take place of the field.
“The issue with construction is that the funding is based on student size, but fees that were waved for certain students have had a big effect on the budget,” McDaniel said. “The loss of income through waivers has significantly impacted what we can borrow for funding. In the meantime, our administration is looking into other options for funding.”
McDaniel said that the project is necessary with the growing student population of SHSU.
“Initially, the project was something the students were asking for because they wanted more outdoor programming space,” he said. “The project is really needed because students are already crowded and they are limited on what they can do, due to a lack of space.”
Although McDaniel says the project is a necessity, some students beg to differ.
“At first, I did think the construction going on was the extension of the LSC,” sophomore business major Summer Styles said. “I don’t think space for organizations is really a problem right now, but seeing as how it’s not being used anyway, I suppose it’s a good use of space.”
Junior mass communication major Tiffany Cozart said she thinks although the long-term project will be worthwhile, the make-shift area could be put to better use.
“Extending the LSC will be really cool when it’s finished, but I really think our campus needs more parking,” Cozart said. “The activity field is a good idea but there are other fields that we already have which could be used instead—there’s only so much parking.”
Although the space will be used by various organizations, it will not be blocked off to the rest of the student body.
“You could reserve it just like we reserve the Farrington Pit, but when it is not under use by various locations, students will be welcome to use it,” McDaniel said. “We may need to put something up during use for special events if necessary, but if not, maybe other students could join in as well.”
Construction will cost approximately $30,000 and should be completed by the end of October.