The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cain Hotel construction enters its vertical phase

Photo by Provided

A rendering of the Cain Hotel located next to the MSC.

A&M’s newest addition — a 20,000-plus square foot convention center and 250- room hotel next to the MSC — is now in its vertical phase of construction.
The project is expected to open in August 2018 and will feature a 600-seat ballroom, instructional rooms and a full-service restaurant and bar.
Project manager Mike Matula said the main challenge with the project will be balancing the design and construction teams because this project is a design-build project, meaning the construction has started despite not all design features being finished.
“We have not finished 100 percent yet on the design of the building, yet we are already building the building,” Matula said. “Keeping the design packages on schedule is pretty important and managing the design team as well as the construction work.”
Phillip Ray, vice chancellor for Business Affairs, said a main push for the project came as a result of seeing other Southeastern Conference and other non-SEC schools building similar facilities.
“We’re just lacking,” Ray said. “As Aggies, we don’t like to be second field to anyone, so we want to provide our students with the same type of services, recruitment, national exposure, seminars and conferences that other students are getting.”
The hotel and conference center will be run by the company Benchmark, which also operates other hotels and conference centers at universities across the country.
“It is a project that we have contemplated being a part of in College Station for 20 years,” said Alex Cabanas, CEO of Benchmark and A&M Class of ‘98. “My father, who started the company, pulled out a letter from 1988 of a project that someone was working on in College Station, and I brought the actual typewritten letter to [the first] meeting to show how long it’s been since we have wanted to do something in College Station.”

The original idea for the project started when R. Bowen Loftin was president of A&M. The only hold-up in the project was funding until a public-private partnership was formed which raised more than $150 million in bonds and would not spend Texas A&M funds.
“It becomes a gathering place,” Cabanas said. “It really is going to be a great environment to welcome our guests and be able to put them on campus and have a great hotel and restaurant and conference center environment to enjoy.” Ray said once completed, the center will provide an even better way for students to interact with corporations and different groups that will use the facilities.
“It’s just a tremendous location to serve our students and the potential conferences and national seminars,” Ray said. “Those types of things are the things we need to be doing more of.”

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