Hundreds of Sam Houston State University students walk in and out of the Lowman Student Center every day. Even more take advantage of the Paw Print dining facility and the Kat Klub to de-stress from a busy week of classes.
Many of these students do not think much of the LSC or the fact that it has been around for more than 50 years.
Back in 1964 the LSC was vastly different in comparison with its current state considering the ballroom was still an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
In 1979, officials decided to renovate the original structure while adding 43,100 square feet.
Construction began in November that same year and in was completed roughly a year later in December 1980. The original building of the LSC was named in honor of Harmon Lowman, Ph.D. who was president of SHSU for nearly a quarter of a century from 1941, until his death in January 1964.
Inside the LSC was a 430 seat theatre and a student pub featuring coffee house performers, games, reading, music-listening and TV rooms. There was even an outdoor program where students were able to check out gear and equipment such as canoes, backpacks and lanterns.
In 1979, the LSC even offered a variety of non-credit leisure courses which fell under what was called the LSC Informal Class Program.
In 2000, renovation was decided upon once more. This is when the ballroom was constructed in place of the swimming pool. There was also the addition of a new entrance for the food court and an expanded art gallery.
The LSC that is available to students today is the same one that was reopened in 2002 after its latest renovation, along with the addition if the Kat Klub, 3-D interactive games, foosball and table tennis.
Students were asked if they wanted these new additions and the polls showed that they did. The same is true for current surveys submitted by students.
It is very probable that in a few years, when sufficient funding is allocated, yet another renovation of the current LSC could take place.
Director of the LSC Dan McDaniel has been at the head of the LSC for eight years now and said that the current LSC was made to accommodate about 12,000 students.
According to McDaniel, with the increase in admissions, an expansion is necessary in order to provide all students will an efficient student center that will provide them with the necessary resources.
“We want to make things happen,” McDaniel said. “A lot of the changes and additions made to the LSC are what the students want. We want to make the LSC a comfortable and beneficial environment for the students.”
The first phase of the project will be to bring in new furniture. After this, a bowling alley, a pub, with either alcohol or wine made available to students, and sitting areas as well as another ballroom and conference rooms will follow.
Sophomore biomedical major Tyler Smith was asked his view on the future changes that are being considered for LSC.
“It’s exciting but, it’s also bitter sweet,” Smith said. “I mean, I’m graduating before this gets done so I won’t be able to enjoy it. This is unfortunate considering that some of that money that’s making it happen is mine.”
The project is estimated to take three to four years to complete and is approximated to require $40 million. As of now the university has $1.8 million in funding available for the LSC project, and is predicted to need $1.6 million per year while the university attempts to find other funding alternatives.