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MSC renovations to honor the past

Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

Once home to thousands of meandering students and more than half a century of tradition, the Memorial Student Center has stood bare and empty for the last three years due to the $100 million MSC Expansion project. When it opens on April 21, 2012, students and visitors will experience a new MSC, merging immortalized memories with state-of-the-art utilities of the modern era.

First opened on Muster in 1951, the MSC has been the center of a number of traditions, many of which renovation authorities hope will continue when the building reopens. First opened on Muster in 1951, the MSC has been the center of a number of traditions, many of which renovation authorities hope will continue when the building reopens.

One of these traditions is keeping off the grass surrounding the MSC as a tribute to Aggies who have died in combat.

Sherry Wine, process cordinator for the project, said a section of the MSC grass is currently located at the Bonfire Memorial and will be relocated by the opening date.

Additionally, the Flag Room — known by many seniors and former students as an MSC centerpiece — will reclaim its place at the heart of the building. Designers added 70,000 square feet of floor space, expanding the size of the MSC by 21 percent. 

"Major changes include the Twelfth Man Hall, which is a north-south connector in the building. There is also the new ballroom, approximately 16,000 square feet with additional pre-function space that has an iconic view of Kyle Field," Wine said

Shine said visitors will no longer have trouble finding the main entrance or the help desk.

"The entrances into the building are now called out, whereas before the entrances were rather hidden," Wine said.

Another staple of the MSC is its role in student organizations. The building was once home to many of the student organizations that are found in Koldus.

"There will be a new student activities lounge on the west end of the renovated MSC that will feature a communications wall for recognized student organizations to promote their events and activities," Wine said.

Some students said they are apprehensive about the ongoing renovation.

"I loved knowing that so many other Aggies walked the very same halls," said Sergio Espinal, senior agronomy major. "I hope that the feeling of the Aggie Spirit you got as soon as you set foot in the MSC is not lost with the renovations."

Junior Micah Scott, vice president of services and facilities, has been involved with the project for more than a year and said he is excited to welcome Aggies to the MSC.

"As a student at Texas A&M, I can attest to the fact that there is no substitute for a student union," Scott said. "Although I have never experienced the MSC while a student here, I feel that it is clear that there is no central place for students to gather, study, hang-out, eat and engage in programs. I would encourage students to not think of the MSC as just the building."

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