COLLEGE STATION, TX — Texas A&M is expanding, the development of their new recreational center took 18 long months of critical development. The grand opening of their new recreational sports facility, was held at noon, Friday, Jan 22.
The Polo Road Student Recreation Center is something students have been wanting, for quite some time.
”With the ever-growing student body at Texas A&M" Jerod Wilson, the Associate Director of the Department of Recreational Sports shared, "The original student recreation center that was opened in 1995, just wasn’t big enough to accommodate the needs,” he added.
Also, the original expansion of over 400,000 gross square feet to the original student rec center, back in 2014, was not enough to sustain the amount of students, during peak hours.
”We had an overwhelming positive response" Wilson said, "It was approved to increase the recreational sports fee from $106 dollars a semester, to $145 dollars a semester, that would allow us to build 2 new facilities on campus of a certain square footage,” he added.
Students, were very much involved in this project, providing input through surveys, regarding, what they would like to see, and one of those things, was more accessibility.
”The benefits of having a rec center on this side of campus..." Wilson shared, "...is it really brings our recreational sports facilities programs, and services, closer, to students in different areas,”
The department of recreational sports is said, to be one of the largest employers on Texas A&M campus, with approximately 1,100 students employed by the department. Now, they will provide students with even greater employment opportunities, all throughout this new additional facility.
”With the additional facility, we had the need to increase the number of student employees..." Wilson shared, "...that we had on our staff, to be able to accommodate the staffing of this additional building,” he added.
The Polo Rec Center is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, where cardio equipment can now double as an entertainment center while you work out. The strength training area, is where the department dedicated the most time, ensuring, students would have ample amount of space, when working out.
”I’m most proud of this additional space, that we have behind us here" Rick Hall, the Director of the Department of Recreational Sports shared, "The strength and conditioning area, so where this facility is 28,000 square feet, but 24,000 of that is this strength and conditioning area,” he added.
The department of recreational sports will break ground on their third rec center in the coming weeks ,developing, a 63,000 square-foot south side recreational facility.
The south side recreation center will house a wider range of amenities such as basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, and for those out door enthusiast, a rock climbing wall.