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Texas Tech Building $100M Academic Sciences Facility

The 125,000-square-foot building will house modern laboratories, research and teaching space to prepare students for careers in geosciences, chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy and psychological sciences.

Texas Tech Academic Sciences bldg.jpg
This rendering shows the proposed $100 million Academic Sciences Building to be constructed on the Texas Tech campus by the end of 2023.
Image provided by Texas Tech
(TNS) — Texas Tech leaders on Wednesday hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for what's set to be an approximately $100 million Academic Sciences Building to be built in the heart of the campus.

The new facility, which will be adjacent to the current Chemistry and Science buildings, will house teaching and laboratory space for five departments within the College of Arts & Sciences.

Designed in the Spanish Renaissance style prominent through the campus, the three-story, 125,000-square-foot Academic Sciences Building will house teaching and laboratory space for the Departments of Geosciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Physics & Astronomy and Psychological Sciences.

"If you were to visit this chemistry building on the science building next door, or biology back here, I think you'll quickly come to the conclusion that we owe our students, our faculty and staff, better facilities that enables them to succeed at the highest level and have the best chance of success," Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said.

The new facility will address the need for more modern, functional laboratory teaching space, as well as space for research activities, Schovanec said.

Talking about that need, Schovanec recalled that, while meeting with various department chairs, faculty, and staff members, it was clear they did not have adequate teaching facilities.

They came up with a concept for a world-class building that will provide state-of-the art research facilities and a modern teaching capability, he said.

"What is sort of wonderful about this, is those student instructional spaces will be co-located for that research activity to take place," Schovanec said.

The space they vacate will provide space that is needed by the School of Music, Schovanec added.

State House Rep. Dustin Burrows, R- Lubbock, said that, as someone born and raised in Lubbock, this new establishment is exciting news for him.

"You have no idea how great it's going to be to see the jobs brought to this economy, the research that goes on here — what a blessing it is going to be to the state in the long run," Burrows said.

Noel Sloan, Tech's chief financial officer and senior vice president for Texas Tech Administration & Finance said, said the university is fortunate to have strong representation in Austin to ensure it continues to provide world-class, in-person education on the Lubbock campus.

The Academic Sciences Building will be partially funded by a $12.5 million appropriation approved by the Texas Legislature during the 87th Legislative Session, as well as Higher Education Funding, according to a news release from Tech.

"The academic science building is being designed in the spirit of our historic districts (on the) campus," Sloan said. "We're sitting right here on the core of our campus and this building is going to continue with that Spanish Renaissance architecture while incorporating state of the art facilities for our students and faculty to advance teaching, learning and research."

Billy Breedlove, vice chancellor for Facilities Planning & Construction for the Texas Tech University System, said they had the students in their mind the whole time. Contemplating how faculty and students have better teaching facilities and better methods was the priority while planning this new facility.

"The team has programmed the spaces to foster innovation in student engagement," Breedlove said. "This is a groundbreaking, state-of-the-art research facility that will also extend through all the departments on campus, so everybody's going to have a part of this in a high-tech flexible classroom, or event space that promotes active learning and interaction with the faculty and the students."

Construction on this new facility is expected to continue through Dec. 2023.

Building materials will include Mission Blend brick, cast stone details and terracotta tiled roofing, according to the Tech news release. Planned external features include a pedestrian walkway and a courtyard to the east of the building.

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