Bearkat Plaza

Location

Central campus
Map | ID#:


Timeline

Dec. 2006:
Frels and Wilson demolished

Nov. 8, 2007:
Bearkat Plaza opens

Dec. 2007:
Tree of Lights moves to plaza

Aug. 2008:
Telephone Services building demolished

c.2009:
First university motto signage added to wall

Aug. 25. 2014:
Second university motto signage added to wall


News


Demographics

Namesake:
Bearkat

Architect:
Unknown

Contractor:
Unknown


About

Bearkat Plaza is the outdoor area in the central part of campus bordered by (to the north and moving clockwise) the Lowman Student Center (LSC), Smith-Hutson Business Administration Building, Lee Drain Building (LDB), and Marks Administration Building.

The land east of Avenue J was first used by the university for the Sam Houston Efficiency Apartments, built in 1945, and later the Rix, Wilson, and Frels apartment buildings.

The earliest attmepts at making this a pedestrian-friendly area came in the early 1980s when roadways and surface parking were eradicated from central campus:

The Alumni Fountain was installed at the western end of the LSC Mall area in the early 1980s. An Alumni Garden was added between the Alumni Fountain and LSC in 2002. During the summer of 2005 the Blatchley Bell Tower was built east of the Marks Administration Building.

The Frels, Wilson, and Post Office buildings were razed in December 2006 to prepare for the next phase in the mall enlargement project. Bearkat Plaza officially opened in November 2007. In August 2008, the Telephone Services building was removed thereby fully completing the expanded mall area.

The plaza is considered seperate from the LDB Mall and LSC Mall areas.

Since December 2007 the plaza has been the location of the annual Tree of Lights ceremony.

Photographs


Bearkat Plaza

An aerial from the late 1970s shows the central part of campus. The predominance of pavement in the heart of campus would be gone within a decade.


Bearkat Plaza

The pedestrian area east of the Administration Building as shown in the 1985 Alcalde, replacing a parking lot and roadway that was once the eastern border of SHSTC.


Bearkat Plaza

In 2007, the Frels and Wilson buildings were demolished to prepare for the expanded mall area.


Bearkat Plaza

Signage in 2007 shows what the completed plaza will look like. According to this image either the Telephone Services building was to remain as-is, remained but was remodeled, or a new structure was to be included at the plaza's northwest corner. That, and the campus maintains a number of fuschia-coloured trees.


Bearkat Plaza

The arbors found at the southwest corner of Bearkat Plaza.


Bearkat Plaza

A glimpse across the plaza from the Business Administration Building looking west toward the Administration Building.


Bearkat Plaza

In 2009 (or so) the university motto was spelled out on a wall on the western edge of the plaza. It has since became the place to gather when told to "Meet at the motto."



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The Buildings of Sam Houston State University website documents the physical changes of the SHSU campus in Huntsville from its inception in 1879 through tomorrow. The alumnus-run site details changes to the academic, residential, and historical buildings and other prominent landmarks.