NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents has selected the Tyler-based firm Freese and Nichols to study on-campus water resources, usage and distribution in accordance with the Campus Master Plan.

Freese and Nichols was selected from three firms invited to make presentations during Sunday's meeting of the board's Building and Grounds Committee. The Board of Regents approved the selection based on the committee's recommendation at its quarterly meeting Monday.

Founded in 1894, the engineering, architecture and environmental science firm is the oldest in the state and has earned awards for its higher education projects. Past clients include Texas Christian University, Kilgore College, Texas State Technical College, Texas Wesleyan University and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Freese and Nichols will partner with the Nacogdoches firm Hydrex Environmental for its local resources and expertise.

The study will include an assessment of the university's current and future water usage, along with considerations for water conservation and distribution. A significant portion of the water purchased by the university is used for irrigation, according to Danny Gallant, vice president for finance and administration.

The Board of Regents also approved a renovation of the Music Recital Hall inside the Wright Music Building. The $170,000 project will be funded through a combination of private donations, higher education (HEF) funds and designated funds.

"The Music Recital Hall serves as a performance venue for SFA music students and guest artists, as well as a teaching facility for courses in the music major and in the core curriculum," said Dr. Richard Berry, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The lighting system in the hall was installed when the hall was constructed in 1969, and only minor aesthetic upgrades were made during the 1998 renovation of the music building.

The Board of Regents also approved the following items during the business meeting:

• Undergraduate curriculum changes in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science;
• Annual audit plan, audit charter and report;
• Continuation of the educational Leadership Scholarship program;
• Grant awards for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013; and
• Numerous policy revisions related to building and grounds, financial affairs, and academic and student affairs.