(VIDEO) The 117,000-square-foot facility is officially open, following today’s ribbon cutting.
Administrators from Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University System officially opened Experimental Sciences Building II (ESB II), significantly expanding the university's research capabilities, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today (Oct. 3).
The 117,000-square-foot building includes an animal vivarium, four general wet labs, three instrumentation labs and two synthetic labs, in addition to offices, collaborative spaces and three conference rooms. Its construction was funded by $70 million from the Texas Legislature's authorization of a tuition revenue bond and $7 million in revenue finance system funds to be repaid by Higher Education Assistance Funds.
"Thirteen years ago, the first Experimental Sciences Building opened on campus, providing an environment that helped to advance our research," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. "ESB II is a world-class facility that represents our continued investment in research that promotes collaboration between faculty, students and industry partners."
The goal of ESB II is to increase Texas Tech's research capacity by:
- Developing and expanding research areas that align with the university's existing strengths and address areas of national importance,
- Increasing the number of faculty with common interests within each research area who can collaborate on large-scale projects, and
- Expanding research infrastructure to support thematic research areas.
ESB II contains collaborative research laboratories and expanded state-of-the-art small-animal research facilities. Research interests in ESB II will represent the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering and the College of Human Sciences.
"ESB II is a wonderful and much-needed addition to the research buildings serving students and faculty on the Texas Tech campus," said Joseph A. Heppert, vice president for research and innovation. "The building will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space for researchers conducting modern chemical and life-science research. The modern environmental controls and support facilities incorporated in the building design will enable scientific research on new materials to treat human diseases, such as cancer and HIV; genomic diversity in plant and animal populations; technologies to generate more resilient strains of crop plants; and strategies for enhancing human metabolic health.
"This facility helps fill a growing need for modern spaces to support the internationally recognized research conducted by Texas Tech students, staff and faculty. Texas Tech's status as a top-tier Carnegie Very High Research Activity University will greatly benefit from this new facility."
The $77-million building was designed by TreanorHL architects, with exterior façade and interior finish design by AyersSaintGross. The project's landscape architect, Prairie Workshop LLC, has previously worked on a number of other Texas Tech projects, including Jones AT&T Stadium, the National Ranching Heritage Center and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Memorial Garden. Flintco, LLC, completed the construction of the facility and grounds.
As part of the Texas Tech University System's Public Art Program, 1% of the total construction cost of each new building on campus goes toward the commission of a public artwork for that building. "Oblique Intersection" by Lead Pencil Studio is a 37-feet-by-26-feet-by-4-feet, steel 3D drawing in space, using recognizable building elements within the context of an imaginary courtyard. Using green space as the plaza, the sculptural form is rendered on the ground through the sun's sweeping shadows. Together the topography, form and shadows will combine to influence student movement throughout the seasons.