NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Authorized by the Texas Legislature, the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents approved a $46.4 million investment for the construction of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics building on campus.

Regents approved Kirksey Architecture of Houston as the designer. The Houston-based firm of architects, designers and planners pledged to provide a design reflective of the university's environment and reputation.

Kirksey Architecture has completed science facilities for Texas Tech University in Lubbock and the Texas Tech Health Science Center in El Paso, as well as for the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. The company designed SFA's newest residence hall, Lumberjack Landing, and the adjacent parking garage.

The board approved J.E. Kingham Construction Company as construction manager for the project. With more than 120 years of experience in the construction industry, the Nacogdoches-based company has completed various jobs across the state and community, as well as numerous projects for SFA.

"Kirksey Architecture recognizes the rapidly changing needs of STEM disciplinary teaching and research and presented a plan that embraces the collaborative and innovative nature we envisioned and identified as a priority in the new STEM facility," said Dr. Kim Childs, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. "The partnership between Kirksey and Kingham Construction will be powerful in moving creative, high tech plans into reality on the SFA campus."

Representatives from Kirksey Architecture and Kingham Construction made presentations to the board's Building and Grounds Committee on Monday, earning the selection over two other architectural firms and two construction companies being considered. 

The Lufkin-based architectural firm Goodwin, Lassiter and Strong was approved to design a housing operations facility that will be located near the current University Woods residence hall complex east of University Drive. The firm assisted in development of the proposal as part of an existing architectural contract.

Regents also approved an institutional operating budget for fiscal year 2016 totaling approximately $242 million, which includes a 3-percent merit pool for faculty and staff members. A $7 million capital plan was approved and will include capital renewal, planned maintenance and renovation projects across the campus.

Regents approved extension of a contract with Ad Astra Information Systems to examine instructional delivery efficiency opportunities, including a detailed analysis of student course demand and class scheduling.

Regents heard reports from the Faculty Senate and Student Government Association and approved grant awards. They acknowledged receipt of an audit services report, approved the adoption of the SFA Envisioned strategic plan, and heard an update on the marketing initiative.

The board also approved:

  • core curriculum revisions;
  • re-election of the university president, general counsel, director of audit services and coordinator of board affairs;
  • naming of a banking program and a financial-advising program within the Nelson Rusche College of Business;
  • reallocation of energy savings operating funds to support the Phase III energy project with Siemens Industry;
  • continued participation in the Education Advisory Board Student Success Collaborative and the Care Coordination Platform through December 2020;
  • revisions to the athletic policies and procedures manual, and the purchase of athletic video and scoring system upgrades from Daktronics;
  • licensing agreements with Tree Town USA and Almost Eden nurseries as distributors of the Purple Pride cultivar;
  • academic, student affairs, financial affairs, and building and grounds policy revisions;
  • revisions to the rules and regulations of the board of regents; and
  • late payment fees.