Nusbaum leads campus through construction
Once she arrived at Texas State in the early 1970s, Associate Vice President for Finance and Support Services Nancy Nusbaum never strayed far from her alma mater.
Nusbaum, perhaps best known as the chair of the Campus Master Plan Steering Committee, has been seeing to it that the university grows in the right direction — and that the multiple active campus construction projects move ahead as planned.
“I think it’s great having been a student here and now being able to make a difference on campus,” Nusbaum says.
Nusbaum graduated from the university in December 1976. The night before the ceremony, boyfriend Monte Nusbaum proposed. “For graduation, he gave me my engagement ring,” Nusbaum says.
Then, after a few months’ hiatus, Nusbaum returned to the university to take a humble professional start as a clerk typist II. “We don’t even have those positions anymore,” Nusbaum says. “I did clerical work and data entry for planning and analysis, which is now the equivalent of Institutional Research.”
Nusbaum worked her way up to her current associate VP post, where she now oversees space management, real estate, capital planning, division strategic planning and division assessment — in addition to working with Facilities Planning, Design and Construction and many others on a 10-year, $500 million capital program with 32 construction projects in various stages of completion.
Staying in the Loop Among the most visible of those projects is the N. LBJ Street bus loop. The university community came back from winter break to find major construction going on outside the Music Building and Centennial Hall.
“The loop will have two lanes dedicated to buses, one lane dedicated to cars, as well as pedestrian and bicycle pathways entering the campus,” Nusbaum says. “That loop will actually become the primary north bus loop, taking emphasis off the LBJ Student Center loop. Bus pickups are being moved to the central part of campus.”
The loop, scheduled for completion in December 2008, will feature a pedestrian plaza, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting and shelters to keep bus riders out of the elements.
Flexing Expansion Muscles The Student Recreation Center renovation and expansion broke ground in June 2009. Students can expect to work out in the new facilities in October 2008.
The expanded center will include:
- a new aquatic facility with an eight-line lap pool and leisure pool
- larger weight room and cardiovascular areas
- additional basketball and volleyball courts
- indoor soccer court
- additional aerobic/multipurpose rooms
- new climbing wall
- golf simulator
- computer lab with wireless Internet services
- snack bar and lounge area
The project adds 94,419 square feet to the center and will renovate 10,127 square feet of existing facility.
Room to Park Nearby the recreation center, more bulldozers and cranes labor side by side on the Speck Street Parking Garage. The project will create about 720 parking spaces in the attractive, Spanish-colonial garage made of limestone brick topped with red roof tiles and rooftop towers.
“The garage will help ease the parking situation for the residential students while the North Housing project is under construction and those using the rec center,” Nusbaum says. The project is slated to wrap up in July 2008.
Master of the Green The Concho Street Redevelopment Projects are perhaps the best example of the Campus Master Plan’s emphasis on green space. Texas State is replacing Concho Street — which separates Lantana and Butler halls from Sterry and Falls halls — with a grassy landscaped mall to be known as the “Concho Green.”
The car-free green, scheduled for completion in August 2008, will extend from Moon Street, which runs in front of the Theatre Center to LBJ Street, which runs in front of the Catholic Student Center.
“It’s going to be an open green space with the intention for students to be able to go out there and study, visit and relax in a nice, pleasing part of the campus,” Nusbaum says. “It will be a place where students can throw Frisbees or participate in informal flag football games. The LBJ Student Picnic will also be held on Concho Green annually.”
Green space became a major priority in the Master Plan after a 2003 survey of students, faculty and staff indicated a need for more nature, less concrete. “We really listened closely to the feedback we got from the survey,” Nusbaum says “and our ‘gray to green’ theme for the Master Plan resulted from survey comments.”
Creature Comforts Along with major improvements such as Concho Green, the university is paying attention to smaller details. “We’re spending $2 million on small campus improvements,” Nusbaum says.
- 150 new benches outside residence halls and academic buildings
- 41 picnic tables for more opportunities for outside dining
- numerous trashcans at the athletic and recreation fields and in parking lots
- bike racks and new lighting all over campus
“We’ll also be landscaping the area around the water tower behind Jackson Hall, the area between the Academic Services Building and the College of Education, the area between Flowers Hall and Lampasas Building where the sculpture garden used to be, and the Taylor Murphy courtyard,” Nusbaum says. “And we added a new sidewalk on Sessom Drive between Academy and Comanche and on Academy from the Speck Street garage to the Recreation Center.”
Planning for the Future Programming just completed for the Undergraduate Academic Center, a new main campus building to house sociology, political science, liberal arts advising, undeclared advising, the Texas Success Initiative Program, the Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC) and the Athletic Academic Center. The Spanish Colonial-style building, complete with coffee shop and outdoor patio, will be constructed in what’s now the Evans Liberal Arts building parking lot.
“The idea is to make it a very, very student-friendly building. Having advising centers and tutoring services be a part of that building should really encourage that,” says Carol Dochen, SLAC director and University College representative for the facilities committee. “We hope the services will refer students to each other, and students can walk across the hall to get what they need. That is a very designed idea — that didn’t happen randomly.”
Dochen says she’s been impressed with the project development process and Nusbaum’s leadership.
A Family Affair
Though Nusbaum has worked at Texas State for 31 years as of March, she says that 2008 is one of the most exciting times to be part of the university.
“We’ve always got projects going, but this is something else,” Nusbaum says with a laugh.
These days, work tends to follow her out the door. When Nusbaum finally gets home at night to her three acres on the outside of San Marcos, where she lives with her two donkeys, four dogs and husband, Texas State is a common topic at the dinner table.
After all, husband of 28 years Monte Nusbaum, crew supervisor of maintenance for the Texas State cogeneration plant, has a keen interest in the Harris Plant Renovation and the Cogen Plant Expansion.
Texas State even creeps into conversation during holiday functions and family reunions, since Nusbaum’s two sisters-in-law work in Texas State ID services and student publications.
Nusbaum's daughter also worked a short stint at the Cashier's Office.
But employment aside, the Nusbaum family boasts lots of Bobcat pride.
“My sister and her husband graduated from here, and their son is about to graduate from here. My sister-in-law and her daughter and son-in-law are also graduates, and two sons of my cousin are currently at Texas State,” Nusbaum says, listing off family members by rote. “There are just a few of us.”
Nusbaum’s daughter-in-law is the most recent Texas State grad to join the ranks, with a degree in interior design. She and Nusbaum’s son now have a baby on the way.
Between family and a campus full of construction projects, Nusbaum has her hands full. But the soon-to-be first-time grandma wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love it here,” she says. “I recently received an e-mail from a search firm about a similar position in New York, but I could never leave, even if the offer was somewhere warmer. I love making a difference at Texas State.”