Academic Building Four


1921 Avenue J
Map | ID#: 0010b


Jul. 9, 2000:
Construction begins

Sep. 2002:
Regents approve auditorium renamed for Olson

Fall 2002:

Jan. 2003:

Feb. 6, 2003:
Olson auditorium dedication

Dec. 14, 2013:
Damaged from vehicular accident

Mar.-Apr. 2014:
Repair work from Dec. 2013 accident




Graeber, Simmons & Cowan (2000)

ICI Construction, Inc. (2000)
Alpha Building (2014)


Academic Building Four (AB4/ABIV) is a four-story classroom and office building at the corner of Avenue I and Bowers Boulevard.

Opening in 2003, the $10 Million, 61,070 square-foot structure sits on the site of the Departmental Dorms and was the first major classroom facility built since 1985. Its completion was planned for summer 2002 but lengthened due to unforeseen delays with weather and materials [1].

Upon opening in January 2003, the building housed the Testing Center, Bowers Honors College, and Scholarship Offices on the first floor; the Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Center, Computer Services, and a 286-seat auditorium on the second floor; the library science department, psychology and philosophy department office, and classrooms on the third floor; and the history department and philosophy faculty offices are on the fourth floor [2].

In September 2002 the auditorium was renamed for history professor James S. Olson in honor of his three decades of service to the university. The dedication ceremony took place the following February.

With the completion of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building in January 2009, the SAM Center moved out of an area that was eventually filled by the Career Service office, itself moving from its location on the north-side of campus. The Department of Foreign Languages moved to the third floor and the Department of History moved into offices on the fourth floor [3].

On December 14, 3013, the southeast corner of the building along Avenue I was damaged following a single-car accident that killed three SHSU students. Repair work began the following March and lasted about a month.



  1. Physical Plant Annual Report (2003).
  2. Newest Building Goes Online (Jan. 14, 2003).
  3. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Opens (Jan. 13, 2009).


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The Buildings of Sam Houston State University website documents the physical changes of the SHSU campus in Huntsville from its inception in 1879 through tomorrow. The alumnus-run site details changes to the academic, residential, and historical buildings and other prominent landmarks.