Southwestern Texas State University purchase of San Marcos Baptist Academy and the Glade Outdoor Theatre


Texas State University, formally Southwest Texas State University, first looked into purchasing the Baptist Academy in 1975. The San Marcos Baptist Academy, opened in 1907, for both boys and girls and focused on furthering students' academics and their Christianity. It was located in the know West Campus of Texas State near Academy Drive. At the time Texas State was the largest and most crowded campus in the Texas State University System. Talks of negotiation between SWT university president Lee H. Smith and SMBA president Jack Byrom. President Smith knew the purchase was crucial as “[Southwest Texas State University] had one of the smallest acreages per full time student in the state.” The purchase of the Baptist Academy was supported by president Byrom as it was acknowledged both institutions would benefit from growing the campuses. Graduates of the Baptist Academy typically went on to further their education at SWT. Many of SMBA former presidents studied at SWT. SMBA president Byrom completed his graduate work at SWT before working for the SMBA.


Source: Toma, Kristine." Landmark purchase 30 years ago." Hillviews 2009. 62-63

Purchase was finalized June 9, 1979. SMBA sold 78.5 acresof land to SWT, including 15 buildings. It was stated that for the next 5-15 years SWT would be using the existing buldings left from SMBA.




The Master Plan

All of the buildings first name changes were approved in 1981 by the president's assistant Allaire A. George. 

  1. Robinson Christian Center became the University Performing Arts Center. 
    • Fall Sayers Hall now resides in place of the University Performing Arts Center
  2. Blanco Hall was built were Llano once was.
  3. Canyon Hall and the West Power Plant were once located where Elena Zamora O'Shea Halland First Freedom Hall are now. 
    • Canyon Hall was originally Abney Hall at the time of purchase. 
  4. San Saba Hall, demolished in 2013, became a parking lot in between Blanco Hall and First Five Freedom Hall.
    • San Saba Hall was originally Crook Hall at the time of purchase
  5. Athletic Field-West remains.
  6. West Gym was destroyed to build the first Student Recreation Center. 
  7. Canvness-Reed and Latimore Halls became the Health Science Centers. The centers were destroyed to add on to the Student Recreation Center
  8. Lavaca Hall became the Texas State University Child Development Center. Its original structure is still in use with new renovations. 
    • Lavaca Hall was first SMBA's Thomas Library
  9. The Den became the ROTC building.
  10. Elizabeth Kokernot Hall became Bexar Hall. Its original building is still in use with new renovations. 
  11. Carroll Hall became San Marcos Hall
  12. Bandera Hall became the Family Consumer Science building
    • Bandera Hall was originally Derrick Wolf Hall during purchase. Its original building is still used with new renovations. 
  13. The President's House was destroyed to make new pedestrian roadways and academic buildings.
    • New President's House is located on San Marcos Spring Lake Hills. 
  14. The Glade Outdoor Theatre remains untouched and unused. 
  15. Originally Talbot Hall became Medina Hall which has now been destroyed and replaced by the athletic fields near the Rec. 

Southwestern Texas State University created a 5 year Master Plan in 1982 outlining the plan of SMBA's land becoming parking, housing, recreational activities, a place for the School of Health Science graduate program, an infirmary, and a place for drama; music; and special events. The plan was a phased takeover as SMBA still hadn's completed construction of its new campus. SWT would occupy the new campus within three years of the purchase. SWT was looking for a way to link the land acquired from the Academy to the central campus through a mall. SMBA had place that SWT wanted to conserve as they were considered landmarks. Those places were The Grotto and The Ramparts (or the Glade Outdoor Theatre). These landmarks were also located in a swale which prohibited expansion, but SWT looked to preserve the land for its drainage characteristics. SWT also left the SMBA President's Home untouched and moved the University's president there. SWT was mainly looking at the land for housing and a recreation center, leaving the previous sport fields of SMBA untouched.