Message from the President

Students, Faculty and Staff -

Welcome back to campus! I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday break and a great first day of classes yesterday. I wish you a successful spring semester and also wanted to provide you with some information about the Setzer Student Center and Quad construction area along with the changes on the first floor of the Mary and John Gray Library.

For the Setzer/Quad area, once a construction site is “turned over” to a general contractor, they are now responsible for everything that occurs on the site. A construction barrier or fence is necessary to protect the safety of the general public and the workers involved in the project, as well as to provide security and keep unauthorized personnel from interfering with the progress of the work. One of the many updates we are doing involves most of the underground utilities in the Quad, which are at least 50 years old and in some cases are the original lines installed when the area was residential. All have reached the end of their useful life and will be replaced as part of the project. There is always a chance that unforeseen conditions could set us back, but based on the current scope, we expect to have the Quad utility replacement complete by early June. At that time, we can open up a new temporary route through this area to allow more direct access between north and south. Towards the end of the project closer to the end of 2017, the contractor will need to reclaim the entire Quad to complete the new sidewalks and landscaping.

The location of the Setzer Center in the middle of campus has presented several logistical challenges for the renovation, not the least of which is the question of how to safely navigate the numerous material and equipment deliveries that will be needed through the course of construction. Our primary goal was the safety of the campus community around an active construction site, as well as the safety of the workers involved in the project. Every possible route to the site was considered, and it was ultimately determined that the most direct approach through lot C-1 was the safest alternative and the least disruptive to the campus.  Prior to the installation of the parking lot fence, new temporary handicapped spaces were designated in lots C-1 and C-3 to replace those that are no longer accessible. Signage will be added to the fence to help direct pedestrian traffic. Additionally, prior to the start of the semester, several new sidewalk curb ramps are being created along the entire fence perimeter to ensure that the route is accessible. Please remember during all of this that the bookstore is still open from the outside entrance at the Setzer Center. For hours of operation, go to

At the Mary and John Gray Library, we are looking forward to the Starbucks Café that will be located on the first floor. In order for this to happen, entrances will be moved, construction will be happening.  Your patience during this process is greatly appreciated.  In order for us to continue growing and upgrading campus facilities, attention in these areas was well overdue. The project will include removal of the copper roof and installation of a translucent roof system in the main lobby area to bring in more natural light as well as build out the Starbucks in the northeast area of the lobby. Reconfiguration of the entrance and exit doors along with a new entrance canopy also will be added. The transaction/check out area, reference help desk and print areas will be moved internally to better serve students.

That said, know that my door is always open to you and I wish you well as we kick off Lamar University’s 2017 spring semester!


Ken Evans