Paige Lambert

City’s new master plan to focus on community growth

The San Marcos Comprehensive Master Plan is being updated for the first time in nearly two decades to reflect the city’s population growth.

The master plan is up for final approval and adoption at the April 16 San Marcos City Council meeting. Mayor Daniel Guerrero said the plan has not been updated since 1996 because of frequent changes in city leadership. The master plan is divided into six sections and aims to improve San Marcos’ economic development, environment and resource protection, land use, neighborhoods and housing, parks, public spaces and facilities and transportation.

Councilwoman will not seek reelection

Although city council seats aren’t up for grabs until November, San Marcos’ only female councilmember has already announced she will not run for another term.

Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1, announced March 31 she will not campaign for re-election. Porterfield has served two terms on city council, during which she served as mayor pro tempore and deputy mayor pro tempore. Porterfield said she has chosen to focus on her career as director for community relations for Texas State and her family.

Verizon films new commercial featuring campus landmarks

A woman’s father comes to visit her at an undisclosed university campus in the latest Verizon Wireless commercial, but the school’s bookstore, lecture hall and archway may look familiar to Texas State students.

Austin-based Fueled Films shot the Verizon Wireless commercial on campus Tuesday. The Undergraduate Admissions Center and its archway set the scene for the commercial’s father/daughter reunion during the one-day shoot, and the duo shopped at the University Bookstore. The crew also filmed in the Centennial lecture hall.

“Texas State is very film friendly, as opposed to other universities that don’t really accommodate,” said Arie Guerrero, Fueled Films locations expert. “It’s structurally beautiful compared to some of the smaller universities.”

New director of transportation services announced

The new director of transportation services will begin work at Texas State in April among policy changes and contract negotiations.

Jane Wilcox was selected from three final candidates for the full-time position. Wilcox will be responsible for the Bobcat Tram and Parking Services starting April 15. She previously worked as director of parking and traffic at Stephen F. Austin State University, according to the university press release announcing her hire.

Transportation director search narrowed to two

Two candidates have interviewed to be the new leader of transportation services, a department involved in several changes that will affect the student body next fall.

Nancy Nusbaum, assistant vice president for Finance and Support Services, has served as interim director for the department since Joe Richmond, the former director, announced he would be on extended leave. Nusbaum said Richmond will not be returning, leaving the permanent position vacant. Interviews for the new director of transportation services began last week. A decision could be made quickly, but the candidate who is awarded the position will not be announced for a few weeks, Nusbaum said.

Rezoned restricted spots to alleviate parking woes

While officials say parking at Texas State will continue to be a hot-button issue, changes are being made in several lots across campus that could help ease the problem.

The Transportation Services Advisory Council members decided to reassign half of the lot next to the tennis courts to all-zone parking during a January meeting. Nearly 100 spaces were changed to all-zone after they had been converted to restricted parking months before, said Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of transportation services. Two to three rows of parking will remain restricted for staff members at the physical plant.

Nusbaum said 43 spaces remained empty daily when the lot was designated as faculty parking.

Decrease in transfer student applications worries officials

Transfer applications to Texas State have recently dropped, and admissions recruiters are trying to pinpoint the reasons why in order to combat the problem.

There was a 15.4 percent decrease in transfer student applications from spring 2012 to spring 2013, according to the Undergraduate Campus Admissions report. About 3,880 transfer students applied to Texas State in spring 2012, but approximately 3,280 applied in spring 2013, according to the report. Stephanie Anderson, director of admissions, said the reason for the drop in applications is uncertain because the trend began only a few semesters ago.

“The numbers aren’t as big as we would like, and we’re not taking this lying down,” Anderson said.

FM 110 financing in planning stages

A highway loop designed to bypass San Marcos and alleviate traffic on Interstate 35 is expected to be complete within the next few years.

The San Marcos Loop, known as FM 110, will stretch from McCarty Lane to Yarrington Road. The first portion of the loop is already complete, the second is under construction and the third is in the planning stages with the Texas Department of Transportation. The loop will connect North and South San Marcos, allowing drivers to bypass I-35.

Master’s in engineering, psychology to be offered in upcoming semesters

Master’s degrees in engineering and psychology, which administrators believe are needed in today’s job market, will soon be offered at Texas State.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a new Master’s of Arts degree in Psychological Research and a preliminary proposal for a Master’s of Science in Engineering Jan. 8. The master’s degree offered through the Psychology Department will be available to students starting in fall 2013. Student applications are already being filed and processed for the upcoming semester. While the psychology degree was fully approved, the coordinating board only approved the preliminary proposal of the master’s degree in engineering.

Low sales may affect Lyndon’s U Club

University dining officials are looking at ways to revamp Lyndon’s U Club after seeing a decrease in sales at the establishment.

Bill Nance, vice president for finance and support services, brought the low sales at Lyndon’s to the President’s Cabinet’s attention during a November meeting. During a typical week, sales at Lyndon’s peak on Wednesdays and Thursdays. However, on Fridays, the on-campus restaurant pulls in noticeably lower sales, according to John Root, director of Auxiliary Services.

“I regularly review the sales for numerous locations on campus, and I saw a pretty consistent drop,” Root said. “It’s one thing to see a slow day but another to see numbers below $100 dollars.”

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