It’s almost time, fellow Aggies! Time for maroon and white, Aggie yells, tailgating, and the scent of fresh cut grass. Time for The Fight Texas Aggie Band and television cameras, touchdowns, and the 12th Man. Time for long drives, and field goals, and hard hits and the Wrecking Crew. Time for high fives and Maroon-out shirts, Reveille and WINS!!
With football season only a few short weeks away, anticipation is building on TAMU campus and beyond. Game-goers, football-watch party attendees and tailgaters on their stroll around campus will see that campus is undergoing many changes. The changes to the stadium tend to get the most attention, but all-around plans are brewing to make TAMU even bigger and better than before. Many of these changes are still in the planning-stage and some are even still in the “wish-list” stage, but here’s a bit of a taste of what you can expect to see around campus in the upcoming months.
It’s no mystery that the most revenue comes from anything and everything sport-related which means extensive changes to the athletic complexes are continually underway. This time around, the softball complex is getting some much needed TLC. Gone will be the days of the lackluster facilities. Many other schools have seen extensive benefits after renovating their softball complexes, making for a better program, better staff, and a stronger team! The hope is to make renovations to the stadium itself as well as add indoor batting cages. Similarly, the track and field team has won 7 NCAA Championships in the last five years, but there’s no place to host meets. That will soon change! Plans to add seats for spectators, improve the stadium, and add a brand new outdoor track are in the works! The renovations will be sure to pave the way for Pat Henry to lead the team to another NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Rejoice, fellow-Aggies! The changes don’t stop there. Tennis, soccer and volleyball can all expect changes to their facilities as well. It’s a great time to be a Texas A&M athlete!
If it’s a great time to be an athlete, it’s even better to be a cadet! The Corps can expect many changes with the centralized goal of making the area more easily accessible to visitors. The changes will draw in the visitors to admire the new facilities as well as all the beautiful memorials. The quad near the cadet dorms will be revamped with new benches, lampposts, trees and beautiful memorial benches with plaques commemorating our noble history. It’s all about connectivity, invitation and ease of access! The cadets will also see their dining area renovated. Plans to upgrade the cramped Duncan Dining Hall are in the works which the cadets who dine there twice daily will surely appreciate!
Not a cadet or a student athlete? There’s still something for you to get excited about! The rec center is being upgraded as well! With what, you ask? More space! A personal training suite! A gym with space for two basketball courts! Group exercise rooms! A second entrance! And a new, 8-lane swimming pool…just to name a few! Additionally, the renovation-planners are being efficient and are using the roof space above the weight room for a new outdoor patio and lounge. It’s a great idea and a great use of the extra square footage that the roof of the weight room provides. Even better, minimal effort is required.
For anyone adding a roof deck, you just need to determine first if your roof is suitable and can handle a roof deck–make sure no repairs are required and ensure your roof can handle added weight. Once you’ve received the OK to build a rooftop deck, you’ll need to choose how to do it. The easy way is to simply lay down a walkable surface—usually sheet vinyl membrane with several layers of plywood and sheeting on top. Tile can be used in this case as well. The other, preferred option is a floating deck. A bit more expensive, but in this case, wooden boards are installed on top of sleepers. Once those are installed, your chosen decking material can be placed on top. Easy!
The campus changes aren’t all fun and games, but scholastic as well. Academic changes are being made to campus to enrich already established programs and increase enrollment. TAMU hopes to double their Engineering-student enrollment and they’re hoping renovating 18 buildings in the Engineering Village will do just that. They’re upgrading the buildings to fit the academic needs, but they’re also keeping the renovations in line with the surrounding historical look and feel. Similarly, major changes are underway for the Veterinary School with plans for the new veterinary and biomedical complex. Animal lovers, rejoice! State-of-the-art classrooms, improved and modern labs, and a new small animal hospital are all planned with the goal of promoting collaboration and creativity amongst its students and teachers. The top-of-the-line facilities will hopefully draw in the very best staff and students and improve the Veterinary Program for all. The veterinary expansion extends to the Hildebrand Equestrian Facility as well. The first phase is complete and beautiful, but next they hope to add new mare and stallion reproductive facilities, a new teaching arena that will also benefit the polo team, and a therapeutic center for the horses.
Equally therapeutic for aggie-fans are the plans to improve the traffic situation after a TAMU football game. We’ve all been there—stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic after an exciting win, drained from the sun. We want to celebrate, we want to eat and drink with our fellow Aggies, and we don’t want to be stuck in traffic! Rest-assured, post-game traffic jams are about to get better (and perhaps obsolete). There are plans to extend the Penberthy/Jones Butler road from George Bush Drive to Luther Street. New intersections! New traffic signals! Extra Lanes! All will aid in a smoother post-game exodus from the stadium. Can’t wait!
We’re all looking forward to that first Aggie win in two short weeks and all the extraordinary campus changes too. Fall couldn’t come any sooner! Keep an eye out for Aggie 1, our newest fleet addition. There’s a brewing battle between Aggie 1 and Big Red, our flagship truck.