Hardin-Simmons University has expanded the main building of its university, Abilene Hall, and added a data center.

Abilene Hall will have a dedication ceremony to the university’s engineering school on August 29 to launch the new 7,000 sq ft extension.

Abilene Hall
– Hardin-Simmons University

Split over three floors, the building will house lab space on the first floor, lecture halls on the second, and a computer lab, student lounge, and data center on the third floor.

This is not the Texas-based university’s first on-site data center. Hardin-Simmons University launched a new data center last year, named the Brian Cargile Data Center after a beloved employee.

The institution did not reveal the size or IT capacity of either data center, but DCD has reached out for more information on the IT footprint.

The development and retrofit of Abilene Hall was enabled by a $1.5 million anonymous donation which the university described as a “very generous foundation.”

Abilene Hall has had quite a colorful history. First opened in 1913, the hall was originally used as a chapel, classrooms, and bookstore for the university. But in 1947, the building caught on fire and became unusable to students.

As the main academic building in the university, this severely disrupted operations. The local town raised money for the hall to be rebuilt by the following year.

Then in February 2021, the building suffered from the crippling winter and was flooded, ruining the boiler and electricity in the building. The past two years have been dedicated to the salvaging of the facility, and retrofitting it to become the home for the university’s engineering school.