By Christian JacobsSAN MARCOS-An increase of student population at on campus has created a surge in construction projects that has been a source of conflict among students.
Texas State University has continued a growth trend for the 17th consecutive year with a record setting total enrollment of 36,700 for the 2014 fall semester, according to a university press release.
“We take our role in preparing the next-generation work force in Texas very seriously, so it is gratifying to see that so many incoming students are choosing to attend Texas State," said President Denise M. Trauth. “This new high in student enrollment demonstrates that Texas State continues to be a leading university in the state.”
The influx of students has made San Marcos one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and its population is predicted to continue expanding.
In a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, San Marcos topped the list of the nation’s fastest growing cities with a population of 50,000 or more. The city’s population is estimated to expand by an additional 33,000 people over the next 30 years, according to the report.
Dave Glover, owner of the San Marcos Real Estate Company, was quoted in a Jun. 5, 2013 University Star article that student apartments are most of the development.
“Most of the growth seen is because of the university,” Glover said. “The only thing you see coming out of the ground is student apartments.”
With that growth comes concerns from students that development is eroding the character of the town.
“I think it (Texas State University) is too big for San Marcos and it is deteriorating its natural beauty,” said freshman Warren Stoddard. “I know of a project that was going to start for a building (that would be) nine stories high; the height would be five stories above what the Texas State Star is."
Junior Kelly Phan said that construction on her street has ruined its once scenic location.
"I live in a condo behind the new 817 Lofts that are being built, so the entire street has been taken up by construction,” Phan said. “I think it's sad to see all of this construction in the area, since I know what it used to look like."
The record population growth each year for both the freshman class and overall enrollment has filled the university dorms. Freshman Esperanza Estrada said that her dorm has been placing three people to every room.
“The dorm I'm living in right now is supposed to be a room for two, but they put three of us in there, so it's crowded,” Estrada said.
Aarom Whalon, a business major, sees plenty of room for expanding the city’s real estate development, and necessary to house the growing student population.
“I think that there’s plenty of room to build especially out towards North LBJ,” Whalon said.
Construction on campus and in San Marcos will continue into the foreseeable future. The university plans for $600 million in current and future additions to improve the campus experience, according to the Finance and Support Services Division.
To view updates on campus construction or planned projects, visit the Division of Finance and Support Services on the Texas State website.