BROWNWOOD – October 22, 2014 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Howard Payne University’s newly remodeled Mabee University Center will be held this Friday, October 24, at 5 p.m. as part of the university’s Homecoming 2014 celebrations.
The extensive remodeling project included a renovated dining hall, study lounge, social spaces, large eatery and coffee bar, enhanced technology, new office suite for the vice president for student life and her staff, expanded campus store, additional conference rooms and improved Bullion Suites to host events for the university and the community.
Waldrop Construction handled the project.
“The remodel went beautifully,” says Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We’re very pleased with Waldrop Construction’s work and we look forward to opening the Mabee University Center to the alumni and the community during Homecoming.”
SmithGroupJJR of Dallas, one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, was in charge of the redesign. Bill Fishback, HPU’s assistant vice president for business and human resources, worked closely with the firm.
“During the construction phase of the Mabee Center renovation project, SmithGroupJJR representatives Nick Back, Kenda Draper and Eden Vaughn were invaluable as we worked with Waldrop Construction and subcontractors to ensure the end result would be a great facility for students,” said Fishback. “Nick Back, associate construction manager, is the consummate professional and was our ‘go to’ person at SmithGroupJJR, assisting us daily throughout project.”
The renovated dining hall opened at the beginning of the fall semester and Fambrough’s Eatery & Coffee Bar, as well as the student life offices, have opened in the past few weeks. Students have expressed their pleasure with the updated spaces.
“The new Fambrough’s looks really nice,” says Allan Chehadi, a sophomore from Austin. “I’m also excited for the new study lounge. It will make it a lot easier for 24-hour studying.”
According to Dr. Ellis, the needs and desires of students were the driving forces behind the project.
“Our main reason for the renovation was to provide a comfortable gathering place for our students and state-of-the-art dining facilities,” says Dr. Ellis. “I believe we have achieved just that. It is a joy to see the students exploring and enjoying the remodeled facility.”
With all of the new features, Dr. Ellis says the upgraded Mabee University Center will benefit the rest of campus and the community as well.
“We’re so proud of this facility and we hope the community makes plans to join us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” he said.
A complete schedule of Homecoming events and other information is available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.
Photo cutline: Among the extensive renovations to HPU’s Mabee University Center were updates and improvements to Fambrough’s Eatery & Coffee Bar.