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Restoring our Roots: The Dairy Barn Makeover

Texas Tech University is the paragon of agricultural education, and it has been since 1926. The year 1926 brought Texas Tech the beloved Dairy Barn, one of the oldest structures on campus built to originally house livestock for calving, feeding and milking. The dairy industry was thriving during this time, and in 1926, the Student Dairy Association was established. In 1927 The Texas Tech University Dairy Manufacturing Department, which was run out of the Dairy Barn, supplied milk, cheese, sweet butter and ice cream to the university and Lubbock community. From the first year at Texas Tech, the Dairy Barn embedded agriculture in Texas Tech’s name.

“The Dairy Barn speaks to our roots here at Texas Tech University.”

Dr. Micheal Gaylean – Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs

In 1966, the dairy manufacturing department deserted the barn which led to the demolition of two wings that the original building had. The two wings were torn down in order to undergo the construction of the Foreign Language building. Over the years, the Dairy Barn has experienced many small renovations and raised financial efforts to help take care of the building. Since 1992, there have been multiple proposals and fundraising efforts to help preserve the Dairy Barn, and the constant initiative Texas Tech has shown is finally persevering. The Dairy Barn is getting the makeover it needs.

Inside Information

On Aug. 10, 2018, the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents approved the project to renovate the entire 8,000 gross-square-foot structure; the actual construction went underway on Nov. 11, 2019. The goal of this project is to renovate the first floor into studio spaces and display areas, and the second floor will be converted from a hayloft to an event space. Due to the historical construction date on this building, total interior reconstruction must be done, which includes all the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire suppression, security, stairs and elevator renovations.

The first floor of the dairy barn post-renovated for display areas and studio space. Image courtesy of Jeff Sutherland

During the summer of 2012, the roofing on the silo and the barn were replaced as well as the roof decking and internal structure. The overall exterior of the Dairy Barn will be renovated, replacing doors, windows and trim. All exterior changes will coincide with the Dairy Barn’s historical look. The design professional on this project is Condray Design Group and the general contractor is Teinert Construction. The expected completion date on this project is fall 2020.

The after look of the Dairy Barn’s second floor hay loft. 
Image courtesy of Jeff Sutherland

Texas Tech University’s campus has developed a collaborative learning environment with the creation of open learning spaces and common areas. This construction project is centered around supporting the collaborative learning environment that has been structured across campus.

This renovation of the Dairy Barn will stand as a historical monument to the university and its agricultural roots. As construction continues to go on, let’s make it a constant reminder that Texas Tech University has proved greatness in agricultural education through the past and the present.

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