Last spring, Texas A&M announced the construction of a new parking garage along Polo Road near the Emerging Technologies Building. Since then, there have been a number of updates to the construction plans of the multipurpose facility, including a finalization of which dining facilities will be provided.
The building as a whole will include a parking garage, a recreational facility, dining facilities and offices for staff members at the top level. Melissa Maraj, communications manager for Transportation Services, said the project has decreased its overall costs since the original proposal and the building is anticipated to be open for use by the fall 2020 semester.
“Since January, work has been completed to secure the foundational elements, and work is currently underway forming and pouring concrete on all five levels,” Maraj said. “Preliminary masonry work is now underway.”
The dining facilities that will be available to all campus members include a Houston Street Subs, Panda Express, Grab-and-Go Convenience Store, Shake Smart and Salata.
Jerod Wilson, associate director of Recreational Sports, said the plans for the satellite recreational facility in the building are on track for completion and will be opened by spring 2020.
“This facility will be really convenient for a lot of folks,” Wilson said. “Campus members will be able to park their cars, go to class, eat food and work out all within the same space.”
The rec facility, which is planned to be around 30,000 square feet, will be equipped with a small entrance and member services area, a large strength and conditioning area, a turf area for stretching and movement preparation, a multi-purpose group fitness space, and men’s and women’s locker rooms, Wilson said.
There will be a large variety of cardiovascular equipment available, such as treadmills, ellipticals, climbers and rowers. The multipurpose group fitness spaces will also offer group classes for campus members.
The new rec center was part of the expansion campaign voted on by the student body in a referendum during the winter of 2018. The students voted to increase the Rec Sports fee to fund two of these satellite facilities on campus.
“We wouldn’t have been able to build this new facility without the students voting ‘yes,’” Wilson said. “What we’re trying to do with our facilities is definitely expand upon what our students told us and what is most sought after and most needed on campus.”