Maggie Montes

Free Office suite offered to campus

An agreement between the university and Microsoft now gives Texas State students, faculty and staff access to all Office 365 ProPlus programs free of charge.

Through the Microsoft Student Advantage program, the company has provided products to be used by the Texas State community, said Jose Rodriguez, director of Technology Resources-Business Services. Because of these partnerships, the university has been allowed to participate in programs to offer Microsoft to students at no cost, he said.

“The suite comes with all the essentials,” Rodriguez said. “We find that for most students, this is more than sufficient to what they need for their studies.”

New residence hall to open fall 2016

University officials are working with architects to design a new housing complex set to open August 2016 in West Campus near Blanco Hall.

Canyon and San Saba Halls as well as the West Maintenance building will be demolished to make way for the Moore Street Housing Project, which is estimated to cost $57 million, said Rosanne Proite, director of Housing and Residential Life. The complex is expected to house 600 beds, said Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services.

Child Development Center assists student, faculty parents

The on-campus Child Development Center caters to and looks after the children of both faculty members and students, allowing parents more time to focus on their classes.

Jessica Belovoskey, education senior, is one of the 25 student workers employed at the Child Development Center located near the Student Recreation Center. She has worked as a babysitter at the center for the past nine months.

 “(I started working there) just because I needed a job, and one my friends who works here told me they were hiring so I applied and ended up actually changing my major because of this job,” Belovoskey said.

Council extends home improvement incentive program

San Marcos home and business owners looking to make improvements to their properties will continue to be able to receive an exemption on permits after city councilmembers voted to extend an incentive program last month.

San Marcos city councilmembers voted to extend the Residential Home Improvement Incentive Program for homeowners through the 2014 calendar year during their Dec. 7 meeting. Before the program was first established in June 2011, home and business owners were required to apply and pay for a permit before making improvements on their residents or storefronts. Over the past few years, the incentive program has enabled home and business owners the ability to receive the permits without having to pay a fee.

San Marcos-Hays County Justice Center proceeds with second phase of expansion

The San Marcos-Hays County Family Justice Center is in the planning process of making governmental and nonprofit services more convenient for victims of violence.

Plans for expanding the building have been underway since 2000 in an effort to reduce the time and travel between multiple offices and expand support services to citizens, said Roya Williamson, victim service coordinator for the San Marcos Police Department. A $25,000 donation from Walton Development and Management will allow the justice center to proceed with the expansion.

Performing Arts Center features historical work from Hispanic sculptor

The new Performing Arts Center will feature a piece of art from Spanish artist Miguel Zapata that depicts conditions of the Treaty of Velasco and “captures the people and events that shaped the history of our state,” according to Timothy Mottet, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications.

The piece was commissioned as part of the percent-for-art policy, which requires construction projects costing more than $250,000 to put aside a percentage that does not exceed one percent for artwork projects, according to the Texas Commission on the Arts website.

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