Opening Lamar’s Centerpiece of Science and Technology
(All photos courtesy of Lamar University.)
Lamar University celebrated the Grand Opening of its new Science and Technology building, a $60 million project for which Freese and Nichols provided design and construction management.
As Lamar’s first new academic building in 40 years, the building serves as the centerpiece for renewal and expansion of the Beaumont campus. The 83,000-square-foot facility encompasses biology and chemistry instructional classrooms, 14 research labs, offices, conference rooms and a “maker space” where students can transform their ideas into product prototypes.
The building includes high ceilings in the maker space to accommodate large projects, with high windows so passersby can see what’s happening inside. The university announced plans to launch collaborative SciTech projects in the new building, including research on reusing dredged soil for environmental and agricultural purposes; providing healthcare to an aging rural population; developing modern education tools; and applying communication devices to tech areas such as automation, health connectivity, and forensic and cyber security solutions.
The building’s opening comes a year after completion of a $28 million Setzer Student Center addition and renovation that our team also managed for the university. That project included a new food service area, new conference and meeting rooms, and new space for administrative and student government offices. The facility also features a two-story entry hall, dining room and outdoor dining area.
The projects are part of our program management services across 13 campuses in the Texas State University System. The Lamar University work illustrates our team’s capabilities in handling multiple phases of higher education projects, including conceptualizing, planning, design management, and construction management through facility contract completion.
For the Science and Technology building, Project Manager Jay Caldwell spent more than two years embedded in the office of Lamar Associate Vice President Katherine Miller, who oversees the university’s Planning & Construction and took a hands-on role in the project.
Isaac Brooks from our Houston office was our construction manager, and Greg Ritenour from our Pearland office was our project manager. Over the last few years, Greg also has provided program management services for a variety of projects on Texas higher education campuses, including six new academic buildings, a new Auto Technology Building, a renovated building for Workforce Programs, two central plants and a parking garage for Houston Community College.