Construction Closes SMU Boulevard

December 20, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Daily Mustang Staff

Construction relating to the George W. Bush Presidential Library is closing SMU Boulevard for six months, according to Gary Shultz , SMU’s director of web communications.

All traffic on SMU Boulevard from Dublin Street to the southbound access road of North Central Expressway will be closed from Jan 3. through the summer.

“Cars can use University Boulevard or they can go on Mockingbird Lane [as detours],” Shultz said.

Side walks on both sides of the street will also be closed but students will be able to use a sidewalk connection from the intersection of North Central Expressway and SMU Boulevard to Dyer Street, to and from the east side of campus.

“The map of the sidewalk will be sent out later this week or after Christmas,” said Shultz. “It will run from the closed intersection.”

Mustang Express will also be rerouted for the the closing. A temporary stop will be placed at University Boulevard and Airline Road.

Bush Blog VIDEO: What Will the Bush Library Bring to SMU?

November 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Aida Ahmed

Behind the scenes in the media tent SMU President Gerald R. Turner, President of the Bush Foundation Mark Langdale and Laura Bush’s former Chief of Staff Anita McBride weighed in on what the George W. Bush Presidential Library will bring to SMU.

GroundBreaking Back Stage from on Vimeo.

Big Crowd Flocks to Bush Library Groundbreaking

November 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

SMU journalism students were on hand, both inside and outside the ceremonial tent, to bring you live coverage of Tuesday morning’s Bush presidential library groundbreaking. Check out the coverage on our Bush Blog as well as our live chat with the Dallas Morning News and our #bushsmu hashtag on Twitter.

The tent is ready to go for today's presidential groundbreaking ceremony. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)


Bush Blog: Bush’s Former Press Secretary Talks With Journalism Class

November 15, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Daily Mustang Staff

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, spoke with students and faculty in professor Carolyn Barta’s reporting class Monday morning. Fleischer is in town for Tuesday’s presidential library groundbreaking.

In the Q&A, Fleischer discussed media coverage of politics. He also mentioned protesters he saw on campus today and remarked on how he believes some members of the media take liberal protest movements more seriously than conservative protesters, such as the Tea Party.

Check back for a full recap of Fleischer’s class visit.

Ari Fleischer, Bush’s Former Press Secretary, Talks With Journalism Class from on Vimeo.

Groundbreaking to Take Place Tuesday

November 14, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Hayley Bosch

Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to break ground on his long-awaited Presidential Library this Tuesday. Thousands of guests, as well as protesters, are expected.

The invitation-only event will take over campus beginning Monday morning. Streets on the east side of campus will be closed to make way for the event.

The 24-acre site will soon boast a 225,000 square-foot building surrounded by a 3-foot retaining wall as is the federal security requirement. Beginning Tuesday, what looks like an empty dirt lot will be transformed into a facility that will put SMU on the map.

The single building on the grounds, featuring a museum, library and archives, policy institute, gift shop and cafés, will don replicas of both the White House Rose Garden and the Oval Office of George W. Bush. The building is designed to achieve Platinum Certification, the highest possible distinction under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Regionally sourced building materials, including limestone from Midland, Texas, where the Bushes first met, and the utilization of 20 percent recycled materials are among many of features within the sustainable design of the building.

A special exhibit at Meadows Museum previews some of the historic holdings that will eventually be moved to the museum when the Presidential Center is complete. The exhibit, “Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” allows visitors a sneak peek into what the Bush Foundation is all about. Floor plans of the Center and the initiatives of The Bush Institute are showcased in the exhibit, which runs through February 6, 2011.

The museum within the Presidential Center plans to tell the story of the leadership of President and Mrs. Bush. It will feature artifacts from the presidency, such as Saddam Hussein’s pistol retrieved upon his capture, and handwritten notes made by Bush as he planned a statement immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Also on display will be more personal items, such as a sweatshirt worn by the president as he threw the ceremonial first pitch of the 2001 World Series at the Yankees Stadium and a baseball bat from the Hall of Fame.

The former president kicked off his book tour with a book-signing of “Decision Points” last week in Dallas. The timely release fell exactly one week before the groundbreaking ceremony and was met with anti-water boarding protests. Thousands have planned to protest at Tuesday’s groundbreaking, starting with a march from Mockingbird Station to the SMU campus.

Follow the Daily Mustang from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday as we team up with The Dallas Morning News for live coverage of the groundbreaking.

VIDEO: George W. Bush Presidential Library

November 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

SMU-TV: George W. Bush Presidential Library from on Vimeo.

SMU-TV’s Stephanie Brown gives the details on the ground-break of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

David Gergen Sits Down With The Daily Mustang

September 14, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

SMU Daily Mustang Managing Editor Aida Ahmed got a chance to speak with David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN and the moderator for the first Tate Lecture of the year. Gergen spoke with Ahmed about President Obama’s approval rating, the ground zero mosque and the upcoming midterm elections. Check out the video below to hear the full interview.

Daily Mustang Exclusive: David Gergen from on Vimeo.

Video and Editing by Andy Garcia

Campus News Blog: Let’s Pave Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot

November 10, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Nate Regan

Homecoming weekend at SMU saw the expected increase in car and foot traffic, and the upcoming Family Weekend is sure to be much of the same.

So if you happen to find yourself stuck behind a parade of visiting vehicles during the festivities, consider this:

In the past few years, the university has razed a pair of fraternity houses to make room for a new parking garage and expanded the campus westbound to the other side of US-75.

The past few years have also seen the construction of hotel Lumen, described as “an enlightened Dallas boutique hotel directly across from SMU facing Meadows School of [the] Arts…”

Unfortunately, Meadows and most of the buildings and residence halls on the east side of campus have received little consideration during SMU’s fundraising blitz, while the Binkley Parking Garage and Expressway Tower have been modified around what will become the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

A quick click on “Visitor Parking” on the SMU interactive campus map will show five different garages designated for visitors, but none within shouting distance of Meadows, Umphrey Lee or the north quad of residence halls.

If the university is going to expand across Central Expressway (and maybe someday across Mockingbird Lane), a logical next step would be to put an SMU stamp on the other side of Hillcrest Avenue.

And it seems like a parking garage in the area across from Meadows would bring the most benefit to the most people, as well as cut into University Park’s ticket and towing revenue.

Of all the businesses up and down Hillcrest, a four-story “boutique hotel” seems most out place near a college campus, especially one that could use a four-story parking garage in the same spot.

Campus News Blog: Bush Library land dispute not over yet

November 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Chris Dell

The seemingly ages-old battle between SMU and a former on-campus condominium owner isn’t over after all.

State District Judge John L. McGraw Jr. tossed out a previous agreement between Gary Vodicka and the university, which was thought to have ended a dispute over land near the future site of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. McGraw said the July agreement was unenforceable.

According to a recent Dallas Morning News report, the failure to reach a settlement likely means the case will continue to drag on, with no foreseeable end in sight. It will not affect the construction timetable of the library itself, because the disputed land will be used as landscaping.

The university is trying to gain title of Vodicka’s land where his four condominium units used to sit. In order to do this, Vodicka must declare all four units were part of the original university purchase in 2005, before he filed a lawsuit against the university.

After he sued the university, Vodicka split ownership of the four units between himself and three others, some of whom went bankrupt, according to the Dallas Morning News. Clearing the dispute with Vodicka will be a big notch in the belt of the university and its robust legal team, which have fought Vodicka tooth and nail practically since the library plans were announced several years ago.

The university will unveil more specific plans for the library’s design and location later this month.

Campus News Blog: Bush Library Won’t Drastically Alter SMU Traffic, Consulting Firm Says

October 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Chris Dell

Extra signs and restriping an intersection.

As far as adjusting for increased traffic flow associated with the yet-to-be-built George W. Bush Presidential Library, these are the only changes SMU needs to make, according to a recent study done by a Dallas consulting firm.

This is a huge sigh of relief for the university, but University Park city officials aren’t buying it yet.

According to a recent Dallas Morning News article, the city has hired its own traffic consultant to look at the issue. DeShazo, Tang & Associates — an outside firm hired by the Bush Foundation — conducted the first study.

The 225,000-square-foot library will be located on the eastern edge of campus on the corner of SMU Boulevard and Dublin Street. Bush Foundation officials are expecting 250,000 visitors to visit the presidential center each year, with 55 percent of them arriving by car.

The foundation-hired consultants said the extra signs would discourage visitors from using residential streets to arrive at the library. Dublin Street will be repainted to allow for two northbound lanes near its intersection, which will lead to parking lot entrances. Currently, it is both a north- and southbound street.

The parking lot’s location also has been an item of contention in recent weeks, with residents on the north side of the proposed library site complaining a parking lot would create noise problems and cause traffic congestion on side streets.

Foundation officials flipped a parking lot for buses and shuttles to the south side of the library, but two public lots are still planned to be located on the north end. SMU officials have stood by the foundation’s plans.

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