Opening soon, new and renovated spaces
Live Oak Hall has opened on what once was part of the parking lot for the Texas State University physical plant. Located at the corner of Peques and East Sessom, the new building is will now serve the needs of students and faculty from the College of Fine Arts – including both Journalism and Mass Communication and Theatre Departments.
The timing of this opening is particularly prescient and not entirely coincidental as the recent public announcement that one of the largest film production facilities in the state will be built in San Marcos beginning later this year.
Live Oak Hall is only the second new building on campus — after Pecan Hall — to open since COVID-19 struck in 2020. This year will also see the completion of the Infrastructure Research Lab (IRL) at STAR Park and a renovated Evans Auditorium. Evans has undergone a remodeling that includes the stage fascia, re-leveling of the lower seating area, new auditorium seating throughout, and accessibility improvements. The IRL is a state-of-the-art research lab that will provide strength and structural testing for concrete beams, materials, and other advanced technologies at the 58-acre Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Park.
Other construction underway includes the first renovations to the JCK Administration Building in over 30 years and the Testing Evaluation and Measurement Center (TEMC), which will move into all new space in the Nueces Building.
JCK will get a new entrance, a renovated first-floor lobby including an Employee Care Center, and improvements to the 11th floor to accommodate larger community events. The JCK project is expected to be completed in spring 2023.
Bobcat Stadium seating has been updated in time for the fall football. Bleacher seating in sections 101 to 105 was replaced with 3,000 individual fixed chairs. Each cushioned chair includes a cupholder and ranges in width between 19 and 21 inches. Handrails were also included in the project, making it easier for fans to reach their seats with unobstructed views of Jim Wacker Field.
Three or four major construction projects are slated to begin in earnest over the next 12 months. With a combined construction cost approaching $300 million and a combined size approaching a half million square feet, the three combined will mark the largest amount of new construction the university has simultaneously managed in our history.
Infrastructure work began in 2020 on the Hilltop Housing Complex, and the building itself will break ground this summer. The 1,006-bed student residence is expected to be completed in time for occupancy in fall 2024. The housing complex, with 241,000 square feet, replaces Burleson and Hornsby Halls, which were demolished in 2019. The construction phase of the project was delayed because of COVID-19. A second new residence hall is also in the early planning stages in response to our record setting expectations for the size of the fall 2022 freshmen class.
Esperanza Hall, the planned fourth academic building on the Round Rock Campus, will include classrooms and offices to support the College of Health Professions. The project, part of the university’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), has been funded and is in the programming phase. Construction is expected to start in 2023.
The new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Building on the San Marcos Campus will house the computer science and mathematics departments. It will become the latest addition to the Science and Engineering neighborhood that includes Ingram Hall, the Supple Science Building, and the Roy F. Mitte Building.
The NEXT IS NOW capital campaign is fundraising to construct a new music building, renovate the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and renovate Athletics training facilities.
The music building is planned for the area next to the Performing Arts Center on Moon Street. The 85,000-square-foot building will serve some 600 music majors and more than 80 faculty with offices, rehearsal space, labs, and classrooms. Currently, music students and faculty are spread across five buildings on the San Marcos Campus.
The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment will undergo a renovation of Spring Lake Hall that will create an interpretive research center using state-of-the-art integrated and immersive exhibits. This project, estimated to cost $13 million, will be funded by donations.
The Athletics Department is planning to modernize and expand the South End Zone Complex to meet the needs of Bobcat Football. Costs are estimated at $37 million. Fundraising is underway to renovate and expand the weight room, team meeting rooms, sports medicine, and training facilities.