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VIDEO: Texas State University System Board of Regents approves LSCO Campus Master Plan

By Dawn Burleigh

Another step towards a larger, greener campus was accomplished on Monday as the Texas State University System Board of Regents approved Lamar State College Orange’s Campus Master Plan.

This plan includes growth for both the campus itself and the surrounding community.  It is also part of a three phase plan.

“First phase was to buy the building. Second phase is infrastructure,” Lamar State College Orange President Dr. Thomas Johnson said. “That includes the plaza, a digital sign, remodeling and landscaping. Phase three is the building.”

Part of the Master Plan includes an Industrial Technical Academy, a Welcome Center next to the Student Center and the 58 sq. foot new Academic Center.

“Right now, students have to go to the third floor of the library,” Johnson said. “The Welcome center will house Advising, Financial Aid, and testing all in one building.”

Johnson added the expansions will also allow the college to serve more students.

“The goal is to grow to 3200 students by 2030,” Johnson said.

The school is set at approximately 2400 currently.

Expansions and new building will continue with the current look of the campus as well.

“We will maintain the look and design of the other buildings as well as additional green space,” Johnson said. “It will offer gathering spaces for students and the community.”

Included in each stage of expansion is additional parking as Johnson added one positive is the lack of parking issues.

Students will also be able to walk from one end of the campus to the other starting at 1st Street to 4th Street without crossing a street, creating a safer environment for students and facility members.

The current Academic Center will see changes as well as it has a balcony added to the second floor and will be able to host events.

“You will be able to see the riverfront even with a levee in place from the balcony,” Johnson said.

The building will be repurposed into a multipurpose building offers student services, events and activities.

In a letter to the staff, Johnson said it was sone more of the many blessings and  success for the college this year.

Yes, it has been a challenging year, and we have endured one challenge after another; but we have also received many blessings and successes along the way. 

  • Dr. Matt McClure received the TSUS Foundation Regents’ Teacher Excellence Award.
  • Dean Gina Simar received the TSUS Foundation Regents’ Staff Excellence Award.
  • The campus transitioned to a fully online environment, virtually overnight, and very successfully.
  • Pharmacy Technology was ranked #8 in the State.
  • New programs were launched. 
  • We learned how to “virtual” everything: meetings, graduations, campus tours, new student orientation, and more!
  • The CARES Act allowed us to provide emergency funds to many students in need.
  • We provided FALL FIFTY, fifty $500 scholarships for Fall 2020
  • We offered FREE Summer courses and achieved our highest Summer enrollment.
  • Gear up to be a Gatorwas launched, offering students flexible options in the class schedule.
  • The Fishing Club was announced as the top team across the nation in collegiate bass fishing, and placed 9th in the nation at the 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship. 
  • We also have two teams heading to the FLW National Championship in 2021.
  • Our Dental Assisting team received an amazing gift of a panoramic x-ray machine, valued at over $60,000.
  • Six Gators, Loan Nguyen, Amanda Smith, Don Ball, Jessica Montgomery, Crystal Compton, and Patty Collins, received the NISOD Excellence Award.
  • Leah Busby was honored with the Professional Excellence Award, and Dorraine Babcock was honored with the President’s Faculty Merit Award.
  • Gators served our community and beyond with projects such as the Wuhan China project, the homeless backpack project, a canned food drive, and provision of Christmas gifts for the nursing home.
  • Last week Dr. Suzonne Crockett, a 1996 graduate of LSCO, was promoted to Dean of Academic Studies.
  • Monday the LSCO’s 10-year Campus Master Plan was approved by the TSUS Board of Regents, bringing excitement and growth to our campus.
  • Commissioner Harrison Keller contacted me and personally invited LSCO to serve as a co-host for THECB’s virtual listening tour sessions in 2021 to help re-examine and refine the existing 60x30TX goals. It is exciting to know that LSCO will play a critical role in the direction of the future of higher education for Texas.

WOW! This list is certainly not all of the many blessings and successes that our campus has experienced, despite a global pandemic and two hurricanes.”