The Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University has launched a $5 million campaign to adapt and renovate Francis Hall, one of the most historic buildings on campus, as the state’s first facility dedicated to construction teaching, research and industry service.
Located in the heart of campus near the Evans Library, the building will serve as academic headquarters for the department’s 700 students and 30 faculty. Once renovated, it will house state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, as well as faculty offices, conference rooms, study lounges and meeting space for student organizations.
“Construction is one of the largest industries in Texas and Texas A&M is home to the largest, most influential construction science department in the state,” said Joe Horlen, department head. “It's fitting and deeply satisfying that our Francis Hall Construction Science Center will be Texas’ first stand-alone education and research facility devoted completely to the discipline."
The $5 million building campaign was launched after The Texas A&M System Board of Regents green-lighted the project at its Feb. 9 meeting in Corpus Christi.
Boosting the initiative, Horlen said, is $1.7 million in private donations already committed toward the goal. Funds raised by the campaign, he said, will supplement $4.5 million provided by Texas A&M University for remediation and renovation of the 94-year-old structure, which originally housed the university’s veterinary medicine programs.
“We are supporting the program because we like the end product: energetic, well-trained, and knowledgeable graduates who are increasingly tech-savvy; the perfect recipe for improving the construction process,” said campaign contributor George Pontikes, president of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Company of Houston.
Other contributors to the Francis Hall Construction Science Center building campaign include: the Department of Construction Science’s Construction Industry Advisory Council, James R. Thompson '68 of Kaufman, Glenn and Helen Keaton '85 of San Antonio, Ronald Gafford '72 of Dallas, George Eustace '77 of Bryan, Clark Construction Company of Bethesda, Maryland, Alpha Building Corporation of San Antonio, Friends of John A. Harris ‘54, Tom Owen '73 of Houston, James Buie of Ross, California, Jerry Lea of Richmond, and James H. Greer '47 of Houston.
The campaign, Horlen said, reflects a true investment partnership between the university, the private sector and our former students for the future of the construction industry. "We graduate more than 175 students each year and a recovering economy is creating an even greater demand for our graduates,” said Horlen. “This new, state-of-the-art education and research facility will give us much needed room to grow and prepare a new generation of highly trained and uniquely able construction professionals."
The Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M prepares students for leadership positions in one of the nation's largest industries. By integrating principles of architecture, technology, engineering, business and project management, its programs ready graduates to effectively manage all aspects of the construction and project delivery process.
For more information on the fundraising campaign contact Joe Horlen at 979.458.3477 or visit the Francis Hall Building Campaign website.