SFA Short On Land

by Donna McCollum

Stephen F. Austin State University has at least five major construction projects underway or on the drawing board. Finding building sites for each one isn't easy.

When it was time to for SFA to find a 20-acre site for a 10-million-dollar softball and baseball complex, there weren't too many choices.

Physical Plant Director, John Rulfs said, "We are reasonably landlocked. There is a shortage of land. There's not any, really, available close to campus, that's easily accessible."

The first proposed site is a pretty, wooded area at the corner of Starr and University. It lies in a flood plain. For this to work, the university would have to gain permission from authorities to redircet drainage. "Until we get final approval from the proper authorities, we can't do anything there," explained Rulfs.

These kind of road blocks aren't uncommon. Inconveniences come with most every construction project on campus.

Beginning Monday, there will be fewer parking spaces as the University Center renovation enters phase two. "On the 20th, we'll be blocking off the parking that's adjacent to the University Center. Now the streets will remain open, both Vista and Aikman," warned Rulfs.

University planners continue to work with architects to learn how to best utilize space and buildings. When land adjacent to the university becomes available, a prospective buyer isn't far away. Rulfs said, "We've purchased some property that's come available to the university up on the southwest side of the campus. It is not that we've been after it, but if it becomes available for sale, we try for it."