San Angelo’s skyline will change during 2008 due to a variety of construction projects and one demolition job scheduled on the Angelo State University campus this year.
While most buildings will be going up, one will be coming down with the planned demolition of the 10-story University Hall at years end. University Hall, one of two campus landmarks since the 1960s, is the look of the past while the Centennial Village is the look of ASU’s future.
Centennial Village, a 526-bed residence hall, is taking shape on the west end of the ASU campus. Completion of the new living facility is scheduled in time for students to occupy the residence hall this fall.
The $28.2 million residence hall will provide student suites with individual bedrooms and shared bathroom and living room. Centennial Village, with 167,000 square feet of usable space, will also boast a commons area with game and television areas as well as a small store to provide amenities requested by students.
Overall, more than $57.54 million in construction and demolition projects are scheduled this year. The other projects include renovation, Hardeman Building, $12 million; recreation center addition, Center for Human Performance, $7 million; renovation of Information Commons, Porter Henderson Library, $4.27 million; expansion, Houston Harte University Center dining facilities, $2.5 million; bathroom renovations, Massie halls, $1.45 million; outdoor student gathering areas, $150,000; completion, signage project, $670,000; and demolition, University Hall, $1.3 million.
“All of our construction is designed to support the enrollment growth projected for the university in the coming years,” said ASU President Joseph C. Rallo. “Each project also represents a significant infusion of funds into the San Angelo economy, whose benefits will be felt in the years to come.
By this fall the Hardeman Building will be vacated for the $12 million renovation and expansion. The facility will be configured into a one-stop for all student services offices, including Admissions, Registrar, Bursar, ASU One-Card and others, providing a single facility for the majority of administrative student services.
The expanded Hardeman facility will also house the new Center for International Studies and the Center for Multicultural Studies, bringing together existing services now spread across campus. Construction on the 4,500-square-foot facility is expected to take a year with the new Hardeman Student and Multicultural/International Service Center opening late in 2009.
“Our goal in consolidating in one building the administrative offices most used by ASU students and prospects is to make it more convenient for them and to provide a more appealing area for them to conduct their university business,” Rallo said. “The expanded facility will also allow for us to have appropriate quarters for our multicultural and international programs.”
The new Student Recreation Center will be built adjacent to and complement the facilities of the Center for Human Performance. This state-of-the-art facility will offer modern aerobic, weight training and other physical fitness activities, such as a rock-climbing wall, to benefit the campus community. Partially funded by student fees, this $7 million project will also include classrooms for wellness and nutrition instruction.
“This project will help University Recreation and Intramurals meet the expanding fitness and recreational needs of our students,” Rallo said. “Recreations centers are growing in importance not only in attracting but also in retaining students so this facility will have strategic value to the university as well.”
Porter Henderson Library will be replacing the current Reference Room on the first floor of the facility with an Information Commons at a projected cost of $4.27 million. Because of the growth of the Internet and its role in higher education, the area will be dedicated to broadening Web research capabilities.
The Information Commons will provide additional Internet stations and electronic study areas for group study. The facility will also have outside entrances so that it will remain accessible even after the library closes. This project includes renovation of approximately two-thirds of the first floor as well as other smaller areas on the second floor. The basement will also be modified to accommodate programs and materials being moved from the first floor.
With expanded activities in the University Center and the pending completion of nearby Centennial Village, additional kitchen and dining facilities are necessary in the University Center. The expansion will provide some 200 new seats and additional food service options to students, staff, faculty and visitors. Total cost for the project is $3 million.
The northeast corner of the University Center, including the UC Theater, will be remodeled to expand indoor seating and add outdoor tables and umbrellas to take advantage of the splendid views along the university mall. Improvements will also be made in the Snack Bar area and new vendors will be added to join with the existing Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Blimpie Subs and Salads.
Robert Massie and Mary Massie Halls will both have new bathrooms installed in time for fall classes. This $1.45 million project will replace the original fiberglass shower stalls with new ceramic tile showers and terrazzo floors. The restrooms will also be outfitted with new vanity tops, mirrors, lavatories, fixtures and floors.
New outdoor student gathering areas are also planned for the new school year. The gathering places at various campus locations will feature pre-cast concrete benches under colorful awnings to provide shelter from the harmful effects of the West Texas sun. Total cost is projected at $150,000.
Work on a campus-wide signage project is drawing to a close with the new monument markers being placed at strategic entrances to the campus. Installation began on the $670,000 project last fall with the addition of pedestrian, vehicular and building signage throughout the campus.
Finally, the demolition of University Hall will forever change the skyline not only of Angelo State but also San Angelo. The university will solicit bids for abatement and demolition of the one-time dormitory, which three studies have shown is economically unfeasible to renovate. If everything goes according to plan, the building will be brought down during the holiday break at the end of the fall semester.
Ultimately, a new 500-bed residence hall will be built its place with a style and look similar to Centennial Village. All future residence halls will be built a maximum of three-stories in line with recommendations of the university’s centennial master plan.