11/01/2017 – Kansas City, MO – CST Industries, the world’s largest dome manufacturer, has been awarded the contract for the design, engineering, fabrication and construction of the new planetarium dome at Stephen F. Austin University.

“This building will serve as a landmark for SFA and will attract more STEM interest from potential students and the community,” said Steve Durham, principal-in-charge of the project and Executive Vice President at Kirksey Architecture.

The 87,000 square foot state-of-the-art STEM Building will be a recognizable landmark in the heart of the SFA campus. The new development includes an extensive science-themed landscaped STEM Corridor which will link existing Chemistry, Math and Science Departments with the new STEM Building. It will include departmental administrative offices and support space, a variety of collaborative classrooms, teaching, research and engineering labs. There will also be student spaces, a rooftop terrace equipped with telescopes, as well as the focal point  — the 52-foot dome planetarium.

CST’s design and engineering team interfaced and worked closely with the Kirksey team developing a complete envelope to house the planetarium’s audio and visual equipment, as well as maximizing the aesthetic features for this signature structure. The dome itself will be constructed from an insulated radial aluminum framing system with spherically curved aluminum panel skin, supported by standoffs from the dome’s structural hub. The entire dome is rotated on its axis to mimic the earth’s longitudinal and latitudinal system.

“We are honored to have worked with Kirksey in the design of this dome for SFA and look forward to our continued relationship with their innovative design team,” says Grace Ferretti, Global Business Development Manager – Architectural Division at CST.

Kirksey Architecture serves as the design architect and J.E. Kingham Construction is the General Contractor. Spitz Incorporated is the manufacturer of the spherical aluminum skin system.

The building is anticipated to open in the spring of 2018.

About CST

CST is the largest dome and storage tank manufacturer in the world.  CST’s existing company portfolio consists of CST Storage, CST Covers and Vulcan Tanks. Five manufacturing facilities and technical design centers and multiple regional sales offices are located throughout North America and the United Kingdom. International offices are located in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Currently, more than 350,000 storage tanks and 18,000 covers have been installed in 125 countries throughout the world.