Drane Hall, which has been part of Texas Tech’s campus for years, is undergoing renovations to better fit the needs of students, faculty and staff.
Located near 15th Street and University Avenue north of Horn Residence Hall, Drane Hall now houses multiple student-focused departments.
Brandon Hennington, managing director of planning and administration for the Operations Division at Tech, said his team was initially asked to address campus needs when the System building was constructed because vacant spaces in Drane Hall were made available for university use.
When creating a plan for Drane Hall, Hennington said he considered the needs of the College of Arts and Sciences because it is the largest college on campus. The university decided to move student activities to Drane Hall based on their efforts in monitoring information on campus.
“We monitor how much colleges are growing, we monitor how much staff functions are growing, we kind of monitor all of that,” Hennington said. “And based off of what we can guess, in their current state, we can come up with an estimate of who has a greater need than others.”
The space allocation committee at Tech managed the information and options Hennington and his team developed, he said.
“So, what we would do is develop options, we take options to the space allocation committee and then they kind of discuss,” he said.
The team, which includes people from the Office of the Provost, Student Affairs and more, act as a sounding board and provide constructive feedback when necessary, Hennington said.
“So, we got input from everybody and kind of landed on the strategy of repurposing Drane, which involved moving all of the accounting, kind of back-of-the-house functions from Drane to Tech Plaza,” he said.
Tech Plaza is located at 1901 University Ave., Hennington said. The decision to move some basic business functions out of Drane created space Tech wanted to be student-based.
“So, we moved accounting functions to that building which freed up space in Drane, which allowed us to create this student-focused building,” he said.
Hennington said Drane will include, among other departments, Student Success and Retention, Support Operations for Academic Retention, advising offices and the office of Patrick Hughes, who works in leadership for SOAR advising.
“It really aligns all of those functions, where they were spread out,” he said.
Lissa Munoz, associate managing director of the planning and administration for the Operations Division at Tech, said students who are looking for a department housed in Drane and get lost can look at their Tech app for guidance.
“There is some campus maps available, like the general TTU informational sites,” she said.
Hennington’s team is looking towards working on Holden Hall as the Drane Hall project enters its final stages, he said.
“We’re finishing up what’s called life safety upgrading on the building, so we’re upgrading the fire suppression, we’re finishing up some ADA, not that it wasn’t ADA compliant, we just need to upgrade the ADA in the building, so that’s really it,” he said. “The next piece is really focusing in on Holden Hall and getting people settled into that space.”
The move to Drane left vacancies in Holden that Tech is looking to fill with the College of Arts and Sciences, a college with growing needs, Hennington said. Holden has historically been used for a variety of activities and is now going to be more focused.
“It was SOAR and advising and all the student activity mixed in with political science, history, some of those groups,” Hennington said. “It was kind of an odd mix, so we wanted to create an isolated kind of section where everybody’s function’s functioning together, functionally aligned.”
Grace Parker, a freshman animal science major from Slaton, said she visits Drane occasionally for tutoring and work-related activities.
“I like that it’s at one, centralized location,” Parker said. “That way, you’re not having to go from one side of campus to the other for the same issue, you just go within the building. I think that’s definitely beneficial.”