• In May 2012, concrete was pumped through the roof to form a new fourth floor in the existing attic of the Cullen Building....
    In May 2012, concrete was pumped through the roof to form a new fourth floor in the existing attic of the Cullen Building. The new floor will support the new air handlers.

Southwestern University will be able to complete comprehensive renovations to its historic Roy and Lillie Cullen Building thanks to a $3 million gift pledge from the Cullen Trust for Higher Education.

The Cullen Trust for Higher Education had previously committed $10 million for renovations to the Cullen Building and construction of a new admission center. The additional funds will ensure the full renovation of the Cullen Building, including the creation of a “heritage gallery” on the first floor that will be dedicated to Southwestern’s history as the oldest university in Texas.

“Over the past 100 years, the Roy and Lilly Cullen Building has become our signature campus building,” said President Jake Schrum. “We are deeply grateful for the generosity from the Cullen Trust for Higher Education to assure the continued prominence and beauty of this grand icon.”

The Cullen Building, which was originally known as the “Admin Building,” was constructed between 1898 and 1900 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was renamed the Cullen Building in 1977 after a gift from the Cullen Foundation funded its first major renovation in the 1970s.

The new $3 million pledge is the third major gift the Houston-based Cullen Trust for Higher Education has given for renovation of the Cullen Building since its first renovation in the 1970s. In 2002, Southwestern received  $1 million that was used to create an alumni center on the second floor. In 2004, the Trust committed another $3 million for the project, a portion of which was used to construct a new stand-alone admission center behind the Cullen Building.

A $6 million gift from the Cullen Trust in 2007 enabled Southwestern to plan for  renovations that have included replacement or repair of all 467 of the building’s windows and replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems. Replacement of the windows was completed in 2011 and work on a new HVAC system is currently under way. In May 2012, concrete was poured for a new fourth floor in the existing attic that will support the new air handlers, which are expected to be lowered in through the roof in June 2012.

Construction also is under way on a new elevator that will be large enough to accommodate persons in wheelchairs and new restrooms are being built to replace the restrooms that were located in the stairwells.

As part of the ongoing renovation, the second floor of the building is being reconfigured to hold the entire Office of University Relations, which was previously located on parts of the second and third floors. This work is expected to be completed in July.

The new funding from the Cullen Trust will enable Southwestern to make the renovations planned for the third floor of the building. This floor will be reconfigured for classroom space as well as a small conference center.

The heritage gallery planned for the first floor will be located in the area that previously served as the admission office. It also will serve as an area for special functions.

The new gift will be received over the next six years and also will support the construction of a new baseball locker room in the Robertson Center that will be named in honor of the late Coach Jim Mallon.