Future Projects Make Way for Transformative Construction Boom
Story by Richard Massey
Photos by Lizeth Rodriguez Santes
With the new Naymola Basketball Performance Center addition to the Johnson Coliseum in 2021 and the expansion and renovation of the Griffith Fine Arts Building underway, SFA is headed into a transformative building boom this decade.
Hall 16 has been razed to make way for a new dining hall. After the scheduled fall 2024 opening, one of two on-campus dining halls, Eatery on East — known by many as the East College Cafeteria — will permanently close. In its place is a proposed new green space area.
Meanwhile, The University of Texas System, which SFA will join pending a Texas legislative vote, has recommended around $77 million be infused into renovations and replacements for the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture — with specific references to the Forestry Building, the Agriculture Building, the Forestry Laboratories and the Agricultural Mechanics Shop.
On the south side of campus, Mays Hall, which hasn’t been in use as a residence hall since fall 2019, is set to be demolished this summer. Once that has been leveled, the remaining residence halls on what’s known as the horseshoe — Hall 10, North Hall and South Hall — are under consideration to be torn down as well. While there are no immediate plans to redevelop the site, once the halls are gone, a tantalizingly available piece of real estate will be sitting right across from the Cole STEM Building.
And in the center of campus, the Kennedy Auditorium and Miller Science Building, constructed at the same time in 1968 and joined by an antiquated mechanical operating system, are expected to be torn down and replaced with an interdisciplinary building, or buildings, at some point in the future. A funding request for the project has already been proposed.
SFA's centennial year is the perfect time to celebrate this cross-campus facilities face-lift. Take a quick look into some of these ongoing and future projects.
Performing Arts Center
The largest capital project on campus in years, the $53-million expansion and renovation of the Griffith Fine Arts Building in the Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts will be completed this spring with classes set to resume in the facility this fall. The state-of-the-art addition will feature two dance studios and theatres, a recording studio, a sound stage, audio and video editing rooms, an art gallery, multiple classrooms, rehearsal facilities, and dean and faculty offices. The expansion will house the programs of sound recording technology, filmmaking, theatre and dance. The project also includes renovations to Turner Auditorium, pictured.
New Dining Hall Architectural Rendering
The demolition of Hall 16 was completed during the early part of the spring 2023 semester. The structure will be replaced with a 20,000-square-foot dining facility. It will include outdoor seating for additional capacity and flexible space for such events as culinary expos and instruction. After the scheduled fall 2024 opening, the current dining hall, Eatery on East, will permanently close. In its place is a proposed new green space area. The exterior of Hall 14, which will abut the green space, will be refreshed. Rendering courtesy of Kirksey Architecture.
Mays Hall, opened in 1951
Mays Hall, which hasn't been in use as a residence hall since fall 2019, is set to be demolished this summer. Once Mays Hall has been leveled, the remaining residence halls on what's known as the horseshoe — Hall 10, North Hall and South Hall — are under consideration to be razed as well. At this point, there are no plans to redevelop the space. However, with the obsolete dorms removed, the area will emerge as a prime piece of real estate adjacent to the Cole STEM Building, said Carrie Charley, interim vice president for student affairs.
New Facilities for the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
Forestry Building opened in 1970
Entry into The University of Texas System is expected to be a boon for the College of Forestry and Agriculture. As part of its offer, the system plans to input around $77 million toward improvements for the Forestry Building, the Agriculture Building, the Forestry Laboratories and the Agricultural Mechanics Shop. Dr. Hans Williams, dean of the college, said overdue improvements are needed throughout the college, from the main campus to the Todd Agricultural Research Center on U.S. Highway 259 north of town.