<p>Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe shakes hands with the creators of an interactive Iron Man game integrating Kinect motion detection and the Oculus virtual reality headset at the 2014 Bitcamp Hackathon in Cole Field House in April.</p>

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe shakes hands with the creators of an interactive Iron Man game integrating Kinect motion detection and the Oculus virtual reality headset at the 2014 Bitcamp Hackathon in Cole Field House in April.

The state Board of Public Works approved part of a $12.3 million contract Wednesday morning, allowing contractors to begin designing the new computer science building, the Brendan Iribe Center.

Composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, the board approved most of the University System of Maryland’s requests, including the Iribe Center plan, early in the meeting. The approval went quickly and smoothly, said James Salt, university system assistant vice chancellor for procurement and real property.

“The selection of a design team for a capital project is a complicated multi-month process,” Capital Projects Director Bill Olen wrote in an email. “At the end of the process, we are required by law to get the proposed contract for the design team approved by the Board of Public Works before moving forward.”

With the contract approved, HDR Architecture Inc., the Iribe Center’s contractor, will move forward with designing the building’s schematics.

At the meeting, the board approved an initial $2 million for HDR Architecture to design the schematics, Salt said. At future meetings, the board could approve about $10 million worth of other contractual awards for construction or more detailed design.

Before the meeting,the university withdrew a request to approve a contract modification for A. James Clark Hall, a new engineering and biomedical building slated to open March 2017, Olen said. Instead, the university is waiting to receive additional information from the contractor and hopes to gain approval in March.

This university chose HDR Architecture after advertising for the project. Of the 26 proposals they received, university officials asked seven to send technical proposals and then interviewed three, according the Board of Public Works meeting agenda.

“[HDR Architecture] presented a design approach which integrates the site into the design,” according to the agenda. “Example projects were very similar to the proposed project in terms of size, cost, and complexity.”

HDR Architecture has designed office complexes and research centers around the world, including college projects such as the renovated interior of a medical institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, according to HDR’s website.

Schematic design is often the first of three phases in designing a building, said university architecture professor Hooman Koliji, who said he worked with the Board of Public Works to design a park.

“The architecture team is responsible for bringing all the other teams under their umbrella,” he said.

During this phase, the contractors draw a blueprint of the basic layout and features of the building, Koliji said.

In the second phase, they will add more detail and structures to their design based on feedback from clients. Finally, they will address other complicated areas, such as electrical and mechanical systems.

The $138 million Iribe Center project will begin construction in June 2016 and be completed in January 2018. Contractors will spend 14 months designing the new building and 22 months overseeing construction, according to the project’s contract.