Small House, Big Demolition

Three small houses in the heart of campus will be demolished to make way for a new parking garage, according to Executive Director of Residence Life Joellen Tipton.

Three Sam Houston State University small houses are scheduled for demolition in May.
Randel, Vick and Spivey small houses, located by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will be torn down to provide space for a new 550-car parking garage.
The parking structure will be located adjacent to the Johnson Coliseum (where Randel, Vick and Spivey currently sit) and will help address ADA issues at the Coliseum and traffic congestion on the south side of campus.
Along with the demolition of the three small houses in the valley, Rachel Jackson House on Sorority Hill will also be out of use due to foundation issues.
“The other buildings are not in as bad of disrepair as Rachel Jackson,” Executive Director of Residence Life Joellen Tipton said. “It’s still safe to live in. It’s not uninhabitable, it’s not condemnable, nobody is making us not use it. We’re just choosing not to use it. It will take a lot of time and effort this summer, [and] we don’t want to put the money into it when we’re going to tear them all down next year anyway.”
The plans to tear down Sorority Hill have been in the works for years now. Destruction of the houses on the hill is scheduled for next summer. In their place, a new residence hall is expected to be built.
“We’re going to lose about 400 beds overall before we build another 600 beds,” Tipton said. “In the long run, after the new building is built, we will only have gained about 200 spaces.”
Before those 200 spaces are gained, there will be a period where 400 beds on campus will be out of use. With the campus residence halls clocking in at about 99 percent capacity, this may be a tight squeeze for Residence Life.
“We’ll have a couple of years where we’re going to have to probably put a cap on the number of upperclassmen, so we’ll have to start a waiting list a lot sooner,” Tipton said.
By Fall 2019, there will be 11 small houses remaining.

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