I want to start a new thread on the central Texas region, The Waco, Temple, Killeen area is one of the fastest growing regions in the State with appox. 630,000 residence reside here.
Greater Downtown Waco is poised to become a focal point of the central Texas region, boosted by a renewed interest in revitalizing downtown Waco, the appearance of new housing and businesses, mixed-uses and infrastructure investments. Fregonese Associates worked with citizens through public workshops, stakeholders, the City of Waco, and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce to develop a vision and guiding principles for Waco's future. This Vision describes how Greater Downtown Waco will develop, function and feel over the next 20 to 40 years. Fregonese Associates worked with the team to create a plan that details near and long term strategic actions to make the Vision a reality. Fregonese Associates created exciting visualizations to illustrate the what the result of implemented strategies could have on Waco's future.
http://lh2architecture.com/html/student_housing.htmlUniversity Lofts, an off campus student housing project with proximity to Baylor University, is comprised of 274 residential units with a combined total of 1080 beds. The ten story structure was designed utilizing a concrete tunnel form system and pre-cast insulated panels.
http://www.tdtnews.com/story/2011/03/27/73351by Eric Drennan | Assistant Sports Editor
Published: March 27, 2011
BELTON - What started out as a dream of a much-needed football stadium at Mary Hardin-Baylor has pushed through the bounds of imagination for a mere gridiron venue.
Make no doubt about it. When construction is completed, the 125-year-old campus will have a palatial landmark designed by perhaps the world's foremost leader in sports architecture.
UMHB hopes to break ground early next year on a $20 million stadium that at least one expert believes could become the gold standard for universities nationwide.
http://www.beltonjournal.com/index....ry&option=com_content&catid=35:news&Itemid=53by Justin Cox Thursday, December 30, 2010
After three years of planning, the City Council gave the green light Tuesday to what will be the largest housing development in the modern history of Belton.
The proposed subdivision, called La Cachette, will consume a 540-acre swathe on the eastern edge of the city near the intersection of Farm-to-Market 1670 and Auction Barn Road with a small portion abutting the Lampasas River.
The City Council approved a development agreement to support the extension of utility and infrastructure lines into the largely unincorporated area bordering the city. The utility lines will not only power the 1,500 estimated homes in La Cachette, but allow the city to expand its borders for the foreseeable future in an area ripe for annexation.
The project, still in the earliest of planning stages, will be a mixed-use, made up of single family and multi-family homes
Killeen developer Bruce Whitis owns the property and will be developing the project in the coming years.
Whitis is one of the most active and long-term developers in Central Texas, mostly in the Killeen area. In recent years, he sold land to Harker Heights that is now the Market Heights shopping center, and is currently in the third phase of the Yowell Ranch a 1200-home subdivision on the southern side of Killeen.
Whitis said the process is in its infancy, but he's encouraged by the latest step, which will allow him and his team to seek approval for a Municipal Utility District (MUD) from the state or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The extension of utilities from the city of Belton into this new area will serve as a major growth tool for the city, which cannot annex any of the connected areas until the proper utility delivery is in place.
Whitis said it's been a long process, and much is yet to come, but he anticipates construction on the development to begin in the second quarter of 2012.
http://www.beltonjournal.com/index....lds-as-belton-prepares-for-the-new-h-e-b-plusAfter more than six years of careful planning and collaboration with the City of Belton and area residents, Belton Mayor Jim Covington and H-E-B Vice-President and General Manager Jeff Thomas joined members of the community to break ground on the area's first H-E-B Plus! on Thursday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m. The 117,000 sq.-ft. store, located at the intersection of Sparta Road and Main Street, will feature both H-E-B and Central Market products favored by Belton, Morgan's Point and Salado residents. Serving area shoppers since 1985, the existing H-E-B store in Belton will close its doors when the new store opens.
"Ever since this store was approved by the city in 2004, we have been looking forward to bringing Belton residents a new, improved H-E-B," said Jeff Thomas, senior vice president and general manager, H-E-B Central Texas Region. "The store plan is bigger and better than ever, bringing area residents outstanding products and departments – some never before seen by H-E-B customers! This store will be specifically tailored to this community."
"It is time for a new store in Belton. My first question is who is running the City of Belton right now. This is such a strong turnout from the community here today. The growth of the school district is an indicator we are making the right investment here."
"H-E-B is so happy to be here today to announce the new Belton H-E-B. Belton, you are kind of hard to keep up with. You deserve the best H-E-B we can build and we are going to just that. There are new additions to this store that you won't find anywhere else," said Leslie Sweet Public Relations Director for H-E-B in the central Texas area.
The new store will create a local destination for product freshness, quality and variety while continuing to offer the lowest possible prices. A few highlights of the store include:
http://www.tdtnews.com/story/2011/4/6/73575by Brennan K. Peel
Published: April 6, 2011
Downtown Temple business owners and interested citizens met Tuesday to discuss ways to drive visitor traffic downtown and help revitalize the area that was once the hub of the city.
The Temple Downtown Development Alliance, a committee of business and property owners, proffered ideas on how to increase downtown Temple's viability as a tourist destination and suggested steps to get there.
One method will be to install signs along the city's major thoroughfares that direct traffic downtown, show visitors where they can park and highlight businesses that keep the old town alive.
Nancy Glover, Temple Convention and Visitors Bureau manager, said the city is planning to erect several signs to start the process.
The signs will point the way to downtown from Interstate 35 down Central Avenue and along Texas 53, she said.
"We're looking at doing a comprehensive re-do of all the signs," she said. "Our goal is to have everything done and installed by the end of this fiscal year."
The city's fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
http://www.tdtnews.com/story/2011/4/6/73508by Carroll Wilson | Managing Editor
Published: April 3, 2011
Bell County is one of the most diverse in the country, according to an index developed by USA Today.
It's one of nine in Texas that ranks high in diversity, the index shows, according to a Texas Tribune report.
The index calculates the probability that two people chosen at random from a county would have different races or ethnic origins, The Tribune says, adding that the state's overall score was 46.
About 65 percent of Bell County's population is white, about 20 percent is black, about 19 percent claim Hispanic roots, and 3 percent say they are Asian. Eight percent say they are some other race. Those figures are from the 2010 U.S. Census headcount report issued last month.
The most diverse census tract in Bell County is a 2.54 square mile section in southwest Killeen near Fort Hood. The residents there are largely associated with the military.
http://www.kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=53510Posted On: Thursday, Mar. 31 2011 10:37 PM
By Sonya Campbell
Harker Heights Herald
BELTON — Maintenance on the historic Bell County Courthouse is under way in Belton.
The work is being handled through Corporate Facilities Management, LLC, according to County Judge Jon Burrows.
"They have done several projects for the county in the past. The work being done is part of the periodic maintenance of our historic 1885 courthouse," he said.
Burrows noted the last significant maintenance/repairs were done more than 12 years ago. "To continue to preserve and maintain this great structure, we have done or are doing several projects."
A number of the projects in the interior of the courthouse have already been completed, including repainting the interior public areas, remodeling the auditor's area; replacing the entrance doors; upgrading the audio/visual equipment in the courtroom; applying foam in the attic to stop HVAC condensation, replacing the boiler and HVAC equipment, refurbishing all pipe insulation, replacing all HVAC controls and tinting the windows to reduce heat.
The exterior renovations and repair project under way include repainting the exterior, inspecting it for possible water infiltration, recaulking and reglazing windows; repairing soffits and gutters; verifying roof integrity, removing unneeded roof vents, repairing and/or replacing damaged areas to the clock tower, replacing
hand rails and remodeling/stone capping window wells.
http://www.fikesinc.com/News.htmTEMPLE, Texas -- Temple's Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) and the City of Temple announce the ground breaking news concerning Fikes Wholesale, Inc. and their new office complex to be built in Airport Park at Central Point in Temple. The office will be a 2-story, 42,000 square foot complex sitting on over 19 acres and will house the corporate office staff. Currently the corporate office staff is located in three different offices in the Temple area. This new office building will unite the entire staff under one roof.
http://www.beltonjournal.com/index.php/news/1280-umhb-campus-to-see-changes-over-the-next-few-yearsIn response to the significant growth that the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has experienced over the years a new master plan has been proposed that will transform the university forever.
The plan was approved and adopted by UMHB trustees who are convinced that this will be a step in the right direction for the school. The master plan is comprised of renovations and new construction of $100 million in new facilities set to be completed within the next three to five years.
The welcoming atmosphere of the campus, the highly successful athletic department, the faculty's professionalism and care and the demand for Christian higher education have contributed to the school's growth over the years. The past two years have recorded the highest number of freshmen enrollment in school history, and Fall 2011 is expected to have even more freshmen enroll.
Subsequently, the increase in enrollment has resulted in plans being formulated to cater to the growth.
The construction and renovations will include:
• Performing Arts Center with a 500-to-600 seat performance hall for musical and theatrical productions
• 70,000-square-foot academic building for the nursing program
• Visual Arts Center with classrooms, faculty offices, studios and gallery space
• a Student Union building offering more than 100,000 square feet for residential dining, a banquet hall, a modern bookstore, student organization rooms and social spaces for student interaction and learning
• an on-campus football stadium with seating for 8,000 to 10,000 spectators;
The estimated $100 million in new facilities is the largest capital investment in the history of UMHB. University trustees have recommended that the plan be underwritten through a combination of gifts and grants, debt, and funds already set aside for campus improvements UMHB has constructed several buildings over the years but never has it devised a project of this nature. It has always completed building projects by constructing one building at a time. The largest project to date is $17 million Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center which was completed in 2005.