Texas A&M Opens Second Rec Center To Serve Campus Needs
Texas A&M University today formally opened its Polo Road Rec Center, a new $12 million, 28,000-square-foot facility that will enhance student recreation activities on campus.
The center, located at 322 Polo Road and across the street from the Emerging Technologies Building, has an indoor turf area, rooms for fitness classes, towel service, locker rooms and other areas that will benefit the university’s 71,000-plus student body.
“Our vision was to provide activities, wellness and development for our students, and we have done it,” said Rick Hall, director of the Department of Recreational Sports. “We used student input throughout the entire process of this facility. It promotes well-being, and it is proven that well-being leads to student success.”
Tom Reber, associate vice president for Student Affairs, said the new rec center was built with three student priorities in mind: parking, dining and recreation.
“In 2014, a national group did a study and ranked Texas A&M the No. 1 school in the country for having the fittest students,” he said. “We ranked even higher than the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy. So we know that this facility will be used and it will benefit our students.”
Daniel Pugh, vice president of Student Affairs, said that the Polo Road Rec Center was “built with students in mind, and for student success. We broke ground on this about 24 months ago, and here we are today. Not even a pandemic could stop us.
The rec center is part of a $78 million project that also includes food courts, office space for Transportation Services and a five-story, 546,000-square-foot parking garage. New dining options include Panda Express, Salata, Shake Smart, The Market and Houston Street Subs.
Student Body President Eric Mendoza said he has heard numerous positive comments about the new facility easing overcrowding from the main rec center across campus.
“This is a world-class facility and it is a testament of how Texas A&M puts its students first,” Mendoza said. “It gives us more options for working out. Students will be flocking here, I’m sure of it.”
Texas A&M’s rec center facilities have proven to be so popular that a third one is in the works.
The $35 million South Campus Rec Center will break ground this spring. It will offer indoor courts for volleyball, basketball and soccer, a climbing wall, locker rooms, strength and conditioning rooms and other areas to support student health and wellbeing. The 63,000-square foot facility will be located off Bizzell Street across from Krueger, Mosher and Rudder Halls and adjacent to the Texas A&M Golf Course.
Texas A&M administrators said the facility is needed because of the school’s increasing enrollment. A study by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association shows that a university the size of Texas A&M should have at least 587,000 square feet of indoor recreational facilities. The school previously had about 415,000 square feet.
Since the main Student Recreation Center opened in 1995, the Texas A&M student body has grown more than 60 percent while recreational facilities had increased by only 25 percent.
The South Campus Rec Center is scheduled for completion in June 2022.
All facilities are part of the Department of Recreational Sports at Texas A&M, which is now in its 94th year of serving Aggies.