Administrators from Texas Tech, the Texas Tech University System, local elected officials and construction team project managers all took part in a “topping out” ceremony Thursday for the Academic Sciences Building on campus.
The facility is a three-story, 131,000-square-foot structure that will serve as the new home for five departments within the College of Arts & Sciences: Biological Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Geosciences, Physics & Astronomy and Psychological Sciences, according to a Tech news release.
Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, members of the Teas Tech community and other local stakeholders all took turns signing the final steel beam before it was placed atop the new structure. The signing ceremony took place just south of the building’s job site.
“Events like this symbolize progress and exemplify our priority to educate and graduate students with the knowledge, skills and personal qualities that enable them to contribute to the workforce and society,” Schovanec said in the release. “The Academic Sciences Building will very much be at the center of our educational and research enterprise – where we are now and where we intend to be in the future.”
Budgeted at $112.5 million, the Academic Sciences Building was partially funded by a $12.5 million appropriation approved by the Texas Legislature during the 87th Legislative Session, as well as Higher Education funding. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Dec. 15, 2021. The project is scheduled to be completed by early summer 2024.
The building will contain hands-on active learning classrooms, student collaboration spaces, first-class teaching and computer laboratories, faculty offices and research facilities, which will help address the issue of outdated teaching labs and fulfill unmet research space needs.
The new structure will be consistent with the Spanish Renaissance aesthetic that marks most of the buildings on the Texas Tech campus. Building materials include Mission Blend brick, cast stone details and terracotta tiled roofing. Among planned external features will be a pedestrian walkway and a courtyard east of the building.