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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

New STEM building approved for construction

Itzie Pulido

The Texas State University System (TSUS), which oversees the university, approved the construction of a new computer science and mathematics building after Texas State announced it in November.

The approval means the building, located on North Street and Vista Street, will begin construction in June 2024. According to Gordon Bohmfalk, Texas State’s architect and the director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, construction is scheduled to finish in June 2026 and classes will begin in the building by fall 2026.

“It was a pretty typical process,” Bohmfalk said. “I don’t recall any questions being asked [by TSUS]. The project went up for a vote and was approved.”

Bohmfalk said planning included months of work, such as hiring consultants, engineers, architects and more.

“We advanced the design into the development phase and then did a cost analysis of the project, then we submitted both the drawings [of the building] and a rough cost,” Bohmfalk said.

According to Bohmfalk, the project’s approved budget is $138 million. This budget includes the $100 million contract with the development firm Skanska, as well as any other developmental costs.

Bohmfalk said the new building will have an area of 167,000 square feet and will be eight stories tall, which could make it the largest building on campus by square footage, beating Ingram Hall which is 166,000 square feet.

Crystal Ukandu, a mechanical engineering sophomore, said she believes the new building is necessary to improve the STEM program and the building’s size will benefit students and faculty.

Ukandu also said it will be easier to get to class, especially during the warmer seasons, since the new building is located closer to the other STEM buildings, like the Ingram School of Engineering and Supple Science Building.

“I think it is a struggle to walk [to class] especially when your bus drops you off at a different place,” Ukandu said.

The first four stories will mainly include classrooms, whereas the top four stories are primarily for faculty offices. The additional office space provided by the new building will allow mathematics and computer science faculty to have offices under one roof instead of being spread out in various buildings around campus.

“You might notice that [the math department] is in multiple buildings around campus,” Susan Morey, chair of the mathematics department said. “So you may have a professor in [Math Computer Sciences (MCS) building], or Elliott or in Derrick, so we’re not even all located together.”

Ukandu hopes the new offices are bigger than the ones in MCS, as that would allow a better experience for students during their professors’ office hours.

“My math teacher’s office is kind of small,” Ukandu said. “The [offices] can really only fit two or three students, so it would be better to fit more.”

According to Bohmfalk as part of the 2025-35 Master Plan, the university is considering a partial demolition of Derrick Hall, which currently houses the Department of Aerospace Studies and the Center for International Studies and most of the math and computer science classrooms.

“I think Derrick Hall is a very old building,” Ukandu said. “So a partial demolition isn’t too bad, especially if they’re building a new building for a better experience for students.”

Devon Crew
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