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convulso

UAH Updates

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i didn't see a topic devoted to UAH, so i thought i'd start one. i don't have any current insights or connections in huntsville, but others on here do and may be able to contribute new info (campus improvements, administrative issues, thoughts on academic life past and present, etc.) - really just anything concerning UAH.

a couple of my meager observations:

- what's with the buildings? the only truly coherent style UAH has is the whole red brick and white concrete theme (madison hall, roberts hall, the library, etc.) everything built since those structures went up has diverged from that look, but even these newer buidlings do little to unite the look of the campus. a single building here and there might have visual appeal, but nothing seems to relate to anything else. from the business building to morton hall to the student center to the dorms to the nursing school to the optics building, everything is so disparate that the campus lacks any visual continuity.

- has anyone had good academic experiences at UAH outside the engineering / applied sciences realm? i certainly did a decade ago, when i got my history degree there. it's not known as a strong liberal arts school, but IMO, it's an unjust perception. many people in my undergrad program earned free rides to grad schools such as at vandy, emory, UNC-chapel hill, toronto, etc. not me, of course...

- UAH has a significant proportion of commuter students, and i think it affects the way the campus operates. perhaps it's well placed for commuters, especially those coming from decatur and other points west, since a campus nearer to the heart of town would compund the diffuculties of a commute from 72 or I-565. the housing options near campus are unappealing, at least to me, since most of the nearby housing consists of older apartment complexes near sparkman drive and university drive (both of which are more appealing as shopping corridors than as residential areas). has anyone on here tried to live close to campus while attending there? is it difficult? did you get any college life-type feel out of it?

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UAH is expanding/building more buildings in the next few years.

-The dining hall/University Center is being expanded and renovated. That will be done next year.

-Another project that will be complete by the 2007-2008 year is the MASSIVE Applied Sciences Building.

-There is also a new gateway under construction in front of the ASB. They are expanding the duck pond.

-Also, a new park and ride is about to be built. It will be across the street from the University Fitness Center, and will connect to the Huntsville Shuttle and a future UAH bus system.

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The plan looks good. The lake and the NSSTC building are pretty far along already and looking pretty good. However, the NSSTC building has too much concrete on the exterior. Bulldozing that neighborhood in the middle of campus and building that greenway will do a lot to make campus feel continuous. They need some apartments either on campus or adjacent for upper class students and grad students. What UAH will probably never have is restaurants, bars and shopping close enough for the students to hang out at. Without that, it will never be "college" to me.

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What UAH will probably never have is restaurants, bars and shopping close enough for the students to hang out at. Without that, it will never be "college" to me.

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Some restaurants (Quiznos, Papa Johns to name a couple) accepted the UAH dining plan, but from what I understand it was taken out of those areas because the people running the UAH cafeteria (Sodexho) complained that they were losing out to those places. The cafe food is not that much to brag about (at least it wasn't when I lived on campus last spring), and it's a shame that people can't spend their own money where they choose like at other universities.

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UAH does need more entertainment options surrounding the campus. Possibly redeveloping the Huntsville West Shopping Center (where Office Depot used to be) into a lifestyle entertainment center would be a start. Also making University Drive more pedestrian and bike friendly would be good.

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A lifestyle center within walking distance to not only UAH but many, many apartments nearby would be a great start for that shopping center. The entire area needs to be made pedestrian-friendly first, but even without that a lifestyle center would probably work, but in the process it may kill Madison Square Mall.

Converting University Drive (and perhaps Sparkman Drive as well) into more of an urban, pedestrian-friendly facility would be great (and at one time I thought of writing up a proposal on how to do that), but it would be extremely difficult to accomplish considering the volume of traffic that uses it already. Perhaps one solution would be to build another route for through traffic interests to bypass University Drive (at least between Wynn Drive and Jordan Lane) and convert the existing University Drive into a lower-speed facility with sidewalks, bike lanes, and a tree-lined median.

I think the long-range plan for UAH has a goal in mind to make the campus a more traditional one instead of the commuter campus feel it has now.

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The long-range plan for UAH sounds like the one that UAB is the middle of doing right now. UAB has basically converted over the last 2 years from a commuter school to a upper-ranked hybrid of commuter/traditional university in the middle of an urban area.

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As of last month, students are still allowed to use their "Charger Card" at Quiznos, Papa Johns and Dominos, and they're trying to expand it to Chick-Fil-A.

UAH does need more entertainment options surrounding the campus. Possibly redeveloping the Huntsville West Shopping Center (where Office Depot used to be) into a lifestyle entertainment center would be a start. Also making University Drive more pedestrian and bike friendly would be good.

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Univesity is way past ever being pedestrian friendly. The amount of traffic and the lack of density is irreversible now.

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An interesting option would be to tear down that old neighborhood in the middle of campus and open that up to commercial development. A few restaurants, bars and shops in the middle of campus would do a world of good for the campus atmosphere. I would think they would thrive too considering the 7,000 or more students + faculty have nowhere else that they can walk to without the risk of being run over except a couple fast food places. However, I'm sure that will never happen.

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UAH has bought the land where that neighborhood is, but I am not sure what they plan to do with it outside of tearing down the houses. I know several people that go through that neighborhood to get between Madison Hall and Southeast Residence Hall already. Turning it into a commercial district would be a novel idea, but I don't see that happening anytime soon either.

One thing that me and some friends of mine were discussing earlier was that UAH has too many different building styles. The library is an excellent example of the different building styles used on campus. The different styles almost gives the impression of patchwork.

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The Intermodal Center set to begin construction. This will serve the new Applied Science Building and bus transfer station.

front1a.jpg

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Charger [email protected] expansion under construction

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The Intermodal Center has begun construction across from the Fitness Center. Also, a couple more houses are being removed from the old neighborhood in the middle of campus as part of a "connectivity" plan that will join the two sides of the campus.

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A couple of updates on UAH construction:

The University Center expansion will probably open around Thanksgiving. They are just doing some landscaping and final touches now.

The foundation of the new Intermodal center is visible now.

I took a tour of the Shelby Center today. It is VERY nice- this is where all the science labs and math classes will be held from now on, and Madison and Wilson halls will be remodeled. The only issue I have with the building is the massive sign inside the entrance that says "UAHuntsville." :angry:

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A couple of updates on UAH construction:

The University Center expansion will probably open around Thanksgiving. They are just doing some landscaping and final touches now.

The foundation of the new Intermodal center is visible now.

I took a tour of the Shelby Center today. It is VERY nice- this is where all the science labs and math classes will be held from now on, and Madison and Wilson halls will be remodeled. The only issue I have with the building is the massive sign inside the entrance that says "UAHuntsville." :angry:

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