Sam Houston State University’s Pirkle Engineering Technology Center has been selected for The American School & University 2018 Architectural Portfolio. The building is featured in the December edition of the AS&U magazine in the Outstanding Design category.
Viewed as the ultimate tribute to education design excellence, the distinctive honor positions SHSU’s center among outstanding architectural projects of national acclaim.
An annual competition honoring education design excellence, the Architectural Portfolio spotlights projects representing today’s most effective learning environments.
A selected jury of members from the American Institute of Architects and education administrators evaluate submissions from architectural firms, schools and universities across the country. One hundred fifteen projects were chosen from throughout the nation for this year’s publication. This is the 36th year the competition has been held.
Clarity of idea, atmosphere, healthful environment, pushing the envelope and suited to the community were some of the criteria judges used when determining winners and other outstanding designs.
The Pirkle Engineering Technology Center opened in spring 2017 and supports high-touch, high-tech learning with labs equipped with robotics, alternative energy equipment, a wind tunnel and more.
The 53,500 square foot, multi-level center serves as the primary facility for the Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology Departments. The Innovation Lab is the core of the center providing a main collaboration area, woodworking shops, clean manufacturing rooms, animal science and research labs, electronics and robotics labs, classrooms and offices.
In 2015, a $25 million gift from alumnus Fred Pirkle helped fund the construction of the center. Additionally, the gift has made it possible to provide new student scholarships each year and fund faculty positions, internships and other academic enrichment.
The late Fred Pirkle founded Therm-Omega-Tech, Inc., in 1982. His company grew to be a leader in the field of manufacturing temperature control valves and devices. As an inventor, Pirkle patented more than 20 products. The second floor of the Pirkle Building features the Pirkle Museum – a tribute to his many inventions.