There has been loud commotion on the university campus lately. Not only is the new president’s house under construction, but almost every building has gotten, or will have, its roof replaced. Even bigger news, however, is the fact that new apartments are being built near the intramural fields due to the influx of incoming students.
The expected date for the apartment complex to be finished and open is Aug. 1. The university and contractors are moving at a fast pace for this to be accomplished.
Senior Vice President for Campus Planning and Support Services Edward Martin has been with the university since 1985. He thinks the apartments will be ready in time for the fall semester, but he also says they have to be.
“When we started the newest three apartment buildings, we only had one ready when school started and the other two were finished about two months after school had begun; this is completely unacceptable,” he said.
The administration hopes the new facilities will meet the growing need for campus housing.
“In December, we asked for proposals for construction managers to come in and build out. We started out building 90 … beds, and then we realized that really wouldn’t get us enough,” Martin said. “We’re not sure 140 is going to give us enough either, but it’s a good start.”
Plans for the university include additions that will encourage a slow but steady growth of the student body. The university owns 285 acres of land. In the next several years, Martin said the center of campus will no longer be the Quad but Mayborn and the intramural fields.
President Randy O’Rear is overjoyed seeing the new housing apartments being built simply because it says to him that students want to come to the university.
“I think it speaks for our academic reputation. It speaks about our very
strong academic programs and the quality of our faculty,” he said. “The word has gotten out about our academic programs at Mary Hardin- Baylor. It’s an attractive place to be.”
O’Rear said the overall experience that people witness on campus is reason enough for prospective students to want to attend.
“For a while, people would say that we were the best-kept secret, but I think that Mary Hardin-Baylor is growing out of that − which is a very good thing. We don’t want to be a secret.”
The student body doesn’t seem to have a problem with the piles of dirt and huge CAT vehicles in parking lots and on the intramural fields. It’s the roofing that is becoming bothersome.
Freshman Brittany Williams understands the reason behind the new roofing, but admits the noises can be distracting while in class.
“I can be taking notes at one minute, and then the next, look out the window and there are pieces of roof and shingles flying down. Also, depending on what floor you’re on, you can hear them walking around,” she said. “It was … amusing at first, but it’s getting hard to stay focused.”
Martin said the reason behind the immediate reroofing is the upcoming
storm season in central Texas. In order to better prepare, new roofs
were in order.
“We received substantial hail damage last spring,” he said.
Regardless of disruptive noise in class, or buildings going up for more
students, the university is growing, and many are happy about this fact.
“We made a decision to increase the size and scope of this project. We
feel we will fill these 141 beds in the project,” O’Rear said.
“As we look out into the future and our desire to have more and more
students live on campus, I think we’ll be looking at additional housing in