Merit Renovation/Restoration: Francis Hall Renovation
College Station, Texas
Owner Texas A&M University
Lead Design Firm BRW Architects
General Contractor Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc.
Structural/Civil Engineer Jaster-Quintanilla
MEP Engineer Aguirre-Roden Inc.
Satterfield & Pontikes Construction completely renovated the 32,500-sq-ft Francis Hall, one of Texas A&M University’s oldest buildings. The project also repurposed the facility for construction science studies.
The project team was tasked with bringing the building up to modern codes and standards. Demolition crews stripped the interior to its concrete frame and floors. Then the interior was completely rebuilt: A new roof and windows were installed, MEP systems were upgraded and many other new components were added.
The upgraded windows improved energy efficiency. But after installing all of the windows, a manufacturing defect was detected, so in less than three weeks the team had to remove all the windows and glazing, rebuild every window on site and reinstall all 255 units.
Exterior concrete walls required interior waterproofing improvements, but the composite waterproofing could not be applied properly without significant work on inside surfaces. Crews removed the plaster and did extensive masonry repairs to produce a level substrate for the waterproofing material. The parge coat also was modified to prepare the wall for topcoating with the highperformance product.
Francis Hall’s 120-seat auditorium had been located on the second floor since the 1950s. The new design moved it back to the first floor, restoring its original two-story layout. This required extensive second-floor demolition of raker beams, concrete steps and seating.
Reconstruction included modern systems and components and unveiling a skylight that had been covered by roofing for many years but was part of the building’s original design.
Interior finishes include Venetian plaster walls and polished concrete flooring. Ceilings also feature perforated metal panels as architectural elements.
Despite numerous challenges from materials, the location and unforeseen conditions, the project was completed on time and within budget.