United States News Texas Texas Tech Unveils Renovations to Historic Dairy Barn |...

Texas Tech Unveils Renovations to Historic Dairy Barn | Texas Tech Today


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The renovations were part of a $3.5 million fundraising effort to reestablish the facility as a functional, collaborative educational space.

For almost 100 years, the Dairy Barn on the campus of Texas Tech University has stood as a symbol to the early days of the university and the persevering spirit
embodied in all Red Raiders.

Built in 1926, just three years after the university was established, the Dairy Barn
allowed for the payment of tuition through milk sales from cattle that were either
brought by students or donated to the college. Students were encouraged to bring up
to three cows of their own to campus and house them in the barn. The Student Dairy
Association was formed that year, and by the early 1930s, Texas Tech’s Dairy Manufacturing
Department was self-supporting, furnishing milk and ice cream to the campus cafeteria
and the Lubbock community.

Even though that method of tuition payment was discontinued in 1935, the Dairy Barn
continued to serve the educational needs of students interested in agriculture until
it was abandoned in 1966, sitting vacant for more than a half-century.

dairy barn interior
The interior of the newly renovated Dairy Barn includes collaborative spaces for students,
faculty and staff from all disciplines at Texas Tech.

Until today, that is. Thanks to a $3.5 million restoration project announced in 2017,
the historic Dairy Barn, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR), once again becomes a vital and functioning academic facility, complete with
office and meeting spaces that will make it a key collaborative and conference space
for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

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“These renovations ensure the preservation of an important piece of the university’s
history,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech President. “The Dairy Barn has a special significance for what it represents
– our West Texas heritage and agricultural roots. The transformation of this building
will serve many purposes and be a resource for all Red Raiders.”

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The Dairy Barn renovations were revealed during a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony
held at the facility on Friday (Oct. 16).

“The college is excited to see the Dairy Barn restoration complete because of its
history,” said Cindy Akers, associate dean for academic and student programs in CASNR.
“The barn is a great reminder of our past and will serve as a resource for current
students and visitors because of the educational component and the collaboration space
it provides.”

dairy barn
The exterior of the newly renovated Dairy Barn.

In 1992, a student fundraising effort resulted in the Dairy Barn and its remaining
silo being recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, the U.S. government’s
official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy
of preservation for their historical significance. In 2016, the Lubbock County Historical
Commission and the Texas Tech Student Government Association unveiled a new Texas State Historical Marker.

The latest renovations represent the first work done on the Dairy Barn in any form
since 2012, when it was given a fresh coat of paint and the roof was replaced. Two
years later, the green space around the West Library Mall and the Dairy Barn were
part of a campus beautification project that included new grass, landscaping, an irrigation
system, lighting and walkways.

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With the latest renovation, however, the Dairy Barn becomes a functional space where
students, faculty and staff can come together in a collaborative effort to further
the educational efforts of the university.

The first floor of the Dairy Barn now consists of spaces that will bring together
students and faculty from all disciplines on the campus. Here, the hands-on approach
that features discussions with researchers and scholars will help students advance
in the learning process in a unique and collaborative way. The small group meeting
spaces will provide multi-disciplinary groups an environment that fosters problem
solving, creative thinking and scholarship.

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Dairy Barn
Much of the wood in the old structure was preserved during the renovation.

The multi-purpose loft space on the second floor provides room for lectures, receptions,
conferences and other large meetings and productive educational functions. It is open
to all departments on campus.

The renovations also brought about new doors, windows and nearby landscaping, as well
as the creation of a display area tracing the building’s history in an area where
cows were once milked daily.

“The Dairy Barn has stood vacant for more than a half-century, patiently waiting for
the day when it would take its rightful place of honor with the two other original
buildings that remain on campus – the Administration Building and the Agricultural
Pavilion,” said Provost and former CASNR dean Michael Galyean. “After serving campus in its early years as a place of opportunity and education
for students in dairy husbandry and food technology, it will now be a place that will
provide opportunities for faculty, students, staff and the community to collaborate,
create and enjoy an incredible event space during Texas Tech’s next 100 years.”

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