Science classes, originally held in the Austin College Building, moved to a newly created Science Building in 1916. When more space was needed for the chemistry and physics departments, the Farrington Building was created four decades later at a cost of $2.5 Million.
Astronomy classes fall under jurisdiction of the Physics Department and star-gazing facilities for the public include both an observatory and planetarium. There was originally a small observatory on the roof that was used for astronomy classes, but expanding city and campus light rendered the telescope obsolete . In 1985 the observatory moved to Country Campus; in 1997, it was relocated to off of Highway 19 near Riverside. The planetarium located in room 102 also provides plenty of fun at Farrington.
In addition to science classes, the building is home to both the Reading Center and the Sam Houston Writing Center. Farrington has also served as a "jumping off" point for members of the Bearkat Battalion, housed in nearby AB3, that use the building for rappelling.
In 2002, the Board of Regents approved funds for both renovations as well as the construction of an addition ; renovations were initially limited to only the first floor . By early 2003 the addition was redesigned as a separate facility that became the Chemistry & Forensic Sciences Building, located just south of Farrington. By 2004, funds were approved to expand renovations to the entire building .
The Farrington Pit, a sunken garden area, takes its name from its closeness to the building.
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