Cottage Dedicated As Place for Community Outreach

(VIDEO) After extensive renovations, the iconic building reopened to encourage community engagement.

One of the campus' oldest buildings started as a practice house in 1927.

One of the oldest buildings on the Texas Tech University campus was dedicated today as a place that welcomes all members of the Lubbock and Texas Tech community.

College of Human Sciences Dean Linda Hoover introduced the renovated Cottage, a building that started as a practice house in 1927. Seven female home economics students lived in the house and learned home management, cooking, laundry, ironing, social etiquette and how to manage domestic help.

Community members would drop their children off for a week at a time so the women could learn child care. Faculty members also lived there.

No men were allowed inside the building; a cabinet door on the north side of the house allowed the ice deliveryman to deliver ice without entering.

“The Cottage serves as an important icon in the history of the College of Human Sciences and helped transform the educational opportunities for students for many years,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “We are proud to preserve this historic beacon of learning for outreach and engagement as we continue to extend our helping hands to the community.”

President Nellis spoke of the building's historic significance at the Cottage dedication.

President Nellis spoke of the building's historic significance at the Cottage dedication.

The renovation, which began in 2011, was done with the intention of keeping the building as close to the original design as possible, Hoover said. There were no color photographs of the inside of the Cottage, but Interior Design Program Director Don Collier and then-graduate student Emily Spaulding used a 1920s “Vogue” cover to find colors appropriate to a home at the time.

Leaders wanted a building that was true to its heritage in all ways, not just in design. The practice house began as a classroom that brought community members and Texas Tech together, and now it is a place created for the community – although residents can't leave their babies anymore.

“When we were discussing space needs and how to best use the Cottage in line with the priorities of the College of Human Sciences and Texas Tech, one theme kept coming up over and over: outreach and engagement,” Hoover said. “I know community outreach and engagement is very important to President Nellis, and it is to us as well.”

The Cottage reopened last year; the first floor is a conference room and meeting area available for public use, while the second floor is home to the Center for Adolescent Resiliency. The center houses the Covenant Body Mind Initiative, the United Future Leaders program and Transforming through Transition.

The Cottage is now a place of community outreach and engagement.

“This center seemed like the perfect fit for our vision of the Cottage,” Hoover said.

Angela Burkham, who works with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, said her organization has partnered with Texas Tech for years. She described the College of Human Sciences as being a key player in reaching out to the community.

“We are excited to celebrate the dedication of the Cottage as a place for the community to be part of the Texas Tech campus,” Burkham said. “Our partnership with the Center for Adolescent Resiliency has been based on our mission to provide research information to a broad segment of the population. This facility will be a wonderful place to facilitate that education.”