Texas State's Department of Recreation and Facilities discovered a 1920s gas station while repairing a flooded golf field.
Photo courtesy of Micheal Petty

Texas State Facilities and the Department of Campus Recreation discovered a 1920s gas station while beginning construction to turn a damaged university golf course into an intramural field.

According to Amy Reid, curator for the Center for Archaeological Studies working on the construction, the project to repair the golf course was proposed by the Department of Campus Recreation when the university was deciding whether or not to restore the damaged golf course. Reid said the plans include two fields, some utilities and a new building.

Known as “Multi-Use Recreation Fields,” the project process began Jan. 15, 2019, according to the project’s General Contractor Form. The design development is expected to cost $7.4 million, and the cost of the construction in progress is around $3 million.

Planning, Design & Construction director Michael Petty said he and Facilities removed wooden structures from what used to be the university’s clubhouse registration for golf and discovered a gas station made almost entirely of stone underneath. The gas station has original stonework from a historical fuel station, so Petty presented the project to the Texas Historical Commission.

“When we submitted the project to the Texas Historical Commission, we got their encouragement and blessing to proceed with the construction,” Petty said. “The gas station was probably built around 1920, so they are excited to have an icon on campus, and we are excited as well.”

The stone gas station is located at the corner of Bert Brown Road and Lost Road where the old golf pro shop was located.

According to a letter from CAS, the stone gas station is “not eligible for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark,” but CAS encouraged “reuse of the building.”

“The new registration facility will be right next to the old gas station,” Petty said. “We think it was a really smart use of repurposing. I’ll proudly say we saved an icon of an era, and we have incorporated that into the grounds.”

Petty said Facilities and the Department of Recreation did a site analysis first, allowing them to be responsive to the surrounding environment as well as meet the needs of students.

Intramurals graduate assistant Karla Galvan said the two proposed fields in the construction project will for open use, meaning students can use them for anything.

“As of now, I know there will be two fields for competitive use such as sports and intramurals,” Galvan said. “There will also be a facility built that will have small conference rooms, registration areas and restrooms.”

According to Petty, Texas State is the only university that owns headwaters, or a stream, of a major river and because of this, Facilities, CAS and the Department of Campus Recreation have been very careful in everything they do on the project.

“(Facilities) retained the services for CAS to review, they did some excavations and allowed us to proceed after reviewing what they pulled from the ground,” Petty said. “There will be no environmental impact since it was previously a golf course, and now it will simply be a recreational field that will have the same type of activity as it did in the past.”

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