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Engineers hired to design repair of Spring Lake Dam

Date of release: 02/04/00

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The Texas State University System Board of Regents has hired an engineering firm to design emergency repairs to Spring Lake Dam in San Marcos.

Meeting Thursday and Friday on the campus of Southwest Texas State University, the regents hired the engineering firm of Turner, Collie and Braden of Houston to prepare plans and specifications for emergency repairs to the dam. Turner, Collie and Braden had previously conducted an environmental assessment of the repair site on behalf of SWT and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under guidelines set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, detailed plans and specifications could not be developed until the environmental assessment was complete.

The total cost of the project is not to exceed $214,268 and it will be funded by federal disaster relief funds from FEMA, in addition to a state legislative appropriation for flood damage repair and university funds. FEMA will pay 75 percent of the repair cost.

SWT acquired Spring Lake Dam in 1994 when it purchased the former Aquarena Springs theme park.

It was damaged during the flood of October 1998 and was subsequently declared “in imminent danger of failing” by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. The TNRCC ordered the university to prohibit access to the dam and immediately adjacent land until repairs could be made to stabilize the structure.

University officials hope the repairs can be complete by the summer of 2001, at which time public access to the area will be restored. Until that time, the university has opened Sewell Park - a university-owned park immediately downstream usually reserved for SWT students faculty and staff - to the general public.

The board also approved revised preliminary plans for the proposed Art/Technology/Physics Complex at SWT prepared by HLM Architects of Dallas.

The estimated cost of the project is $43.5 million and funding sources include Higher Education Assistance Funds, tuition revenue bond proceeds and university funds.

The construction project represents years of planning on the part of SWT officials and representatives of the region’s high-tech industries. When complete, the building will house a semiconductor fabrication laboratory, one of only a few such facilities on college campuses in the nation.

The building will house the departments of Art, Technology and Physics. In addition to the semiconductor fabrication lab, it will also be home to a state-of-the-art metals and plastics processing laboratory in the Department of Technology. The Department of Art and Design will relocate its already existing sophisticated computer graphics design lab to the new building.

Construction is expected to begin in August 2000 with completion scheduled in July 2002.

In other SWT-related news, the board:

  • Authorized the university to sell the 116-acre university farm located at the intersection of Hunter Road and McCarty Lane to the First Baptist Church. Proceeds will establish a quasi-endowment to provide scholarships for outstanding students and to provide matching funds to support operations of the Agriculture Department and the Freeman Ranch.
  • Approved preliminary plans for the residence hall code compliance project, with an estimated total cost of $18 million. Funding will come from auxiliary pledged reserves and system revenue bonds.
  • Awarded a contract of $380,000 to Stokes Construction for the renovation of the BMC West building for use as the university print shop and storage space.
  • Authorized the university to offer a master of applied geography degree and a bachelor of science in health information management via distance education. Both programs will begin this summer and will use various methods of instruction, including tapes, videos and the internet.
  • Increased rates for fall 2000 and spring 2001 block meal plans by approximately 38 cents a day. The increase will offset revenue losses to the university’s food service provider that result from temporary residence hall closures for the fire code compliance project and other renovations.
  • Acknowledged gifts to the university of $5,000 or more.
    • Motorola donated equipment valued at $260,000 for semiconductor studies in the Department of Physics.
    • The Roy and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation donated $114,900 for scholarships.
    • The Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation donated $100,000 in support of the electronic classroom for the Albert B. Alkek Library and for the faculty technology development program.
    • Norwest Bank Texas, South Central contributed $50,000 for the proposed new athletic facility.
    • The Roy and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation contributed $50,000 for the Mitte Chair in Cancer Research.
    • Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Anderson donated $25,000 for the Anderson Physics Scholarship Fund.
    • The McCombs Foundation donated $25,000 in support of the new athletic facility.
    • Mariam York contributed $15,000 to establish the Emmett L. and Carolyn Korff Scholarship.
    • Jack Williams contributed 100 shares of General Electric stock, valued at $14,425, for the San Marcos High School Class Legacy Scholarship.
    • Bob and Sue Shrader contributed $10,000 to establish a scholarship in the Department of Mass Communication.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Larry F. Wright donated $10,000 for scholarship and discretionary use by the departments of Chemistry and Agriculture and by the Air Force ROTC program.
    • Steven B. Baughman donated $7,500 in support of the SWT technology program.
    • Tim R. Staskus contributed $7,500 to establish the Phillip A. Staskus Undergraduate Geography Scholarship.
    • Tom Staskus contributed $7,500 to establish the Phillip A. Staskus Undergraduate Geography Scholarship.
    • Ginny A. Jones contributed $7,000 in support of the Centennial Campaign.
    • San Marcos dentist Robert Donnelly donated mouth guards for athletes valued at $5,250.
    • Brock J. Brown contributed $5,000 to establish the Peggy Steele Clay Geography Scholarship.
    • CenturyTel donated $5,000 in support of the technology program.
    • O.C. Haley donated $5,000 to increase the Strutter endowed scholarship fund.
    • C.D. Marshall donated $5,000 for the Ione Dotson Young Scholarship.
    • President and Mrs. Jerome Supple donated $5,000 for a centennial gift.
  • Increased room rates at residence halls by an average of 5 percent and apartment rates up to 2.3 percent.
  • Authorized the university to separate the Department of Management and Marketing into the Department of Management and the Department of Marketing. The change will split the largest department in the College of Business and allow better service to students.
  • Authorized the university to change the name of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation to the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
  • Approved a photocopy vending service agreement with IKON Office Solutions from July 16, 2000, until July 15, 2003, at an estimated annual cost of $506,066.
  • Authorized the university to accept the cogeneration expansion project, phase 1.
  • Accepted the west campus telecommunication cable extension project.
  • Accepted the annual reports of the SWT Support Foundation, the Development Foundation, the Alumni Association and the Special Education Foundation.
  • Authorized out-of-country study programs in Germany, Mexico, France and China, and accepted reports on other out-of-country study programs.
  • Approved routine personnel matters, course fees and budget adjustments.

The Texas State University System includes Angelo State University in San Angelo, Lamar University-Beaumont, Lamar University Institute of Technology in Beaumont, Lamar University-Orange, Lamar University-Port Arthur, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, SWT, Sul Ross State University in Alpine and Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College in Uvalde.

Members of the nine-member board are Floyd Nickerson of Plano, chair; Nancy R. Neal of Lubbock, vice chair; Patricia Diaz Dennis of San Antonio; Dionicio “Don” Flores of El Paso; John P. Hageman of Austin; James A. “Jimmy” Hayley of Texas City; Thomas M. Moeller of Beaumont; Pollyanna A. Stephens of San Angelo; and Macedonio “Massey” Villarreal of Missouri City. Chancellor Lamar Urbanovsky manages the system’s office in Austin.