Construction Update: Projects continue in attempt to accommodate growing population

Special to the Star

This semester will bring no relief in the continued construction taking place both on and off campus as students, faculty and staff begin another school year.

Texas State and the City of San Marcos are implementing construction projects to keep up with the growing student population as well as outdated infrastructure, said Michael Petty, director of facilities planning, design and construction. Although construction projects may make things difficult for students and residents, they will make the campus a better place, he said.

Bobcat Trail

The renovation of Bobcat Trail began with updating old underground utilities and also creating a “wonderful green space for students,” Petty said.

Bobcat Trail is a continuation of the pedestrian mall concept near the University Police headquarters and the Undergraduate Academic Center, he said.

“It will be a 100 percent pedestrian mall with planters, trees and places for students to study,” Petty said.

Bobcat Trail is scheduled to be completed December 2015, and the underground utilities work will be finished with barricades coming down on North LBJ Drive and Edward Gary Street, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of facilities. 

Until then, those who are inconvenienced are urged to “adjust traffic patterns,” Guerra said.

An open-forum town hall meeting will be held in September about the Bobcat Trail redevelopment and will be open to the public, Petty said.

West Campus

The Speck surface parking lot in West Campus will undergo construction with a minimum impact on students, Guerra said. The lot will be closed to make way for two new residence halls.

The former location of the recently demolished Comanche Hills Apartments on Comanche and Woods Streets will be the future site of a new Engineering and Science building if funding is approved by the legislature, Guerra said.

One side of the Comanche Street bridge that connects West Campus to central campus will be closed for renovations in the near future in an effort to make campus “more pedestrian friendly,” Guerra said.

North LBJ

Construction on North LBJ Drive will be completed in summer 2015, said Shaun Condor, project manager.

“Everything that needed repairs is getting repaired,” Condor said in a Jul. 24 University Star article.

The reconstruction of North LBJ will cost $6.9 million by the time it is complete next summer, Condor said in the article. Shared lanes for bikes, sidewalks on both sides of the street and water, sewer and storm drains will be added.

“New sidewalks are being added to get pedestrians through more efficiently,” Condor said.

Once the project is complete, “it will beautify the area,” he said.

Mochas and Javas, a coffee shop located on North LBJ Drive, experienced trouble when the construction was heavy on its side of the street, according to the article.

The construction has not had a “devastating” effect on the shop, but it did slow down business, said Andy Trevino, Mochas and Javas manager, in the Jul. 24 University Star article.

“Be as patient as you can possibly be,” Petty said. “Before you know it, it will be finished.”