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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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Photo by Tim Lai

Zachary Construction has displaced many classes. 

In the shadow of Kyle Field, a number of renovations have taken place across campus this summer. Here are a few of the bigger projects.

The Commons

After students moved out of the Commons in May, the university began an extensive renovation. Scheduled for completion in August 2017, the renovation on the lobby area will add new features, including a game room, a computer lab and space to showcase student artwork and photography.

“One of the items the architects thought would be really cool was to leave the concrete ceilings wide open so it would have this industrial feel and look,” said Carol Binzer, director of administrative and support services for the Department of Residence Life.

In addition to improving the look of the area, Binzer said the renovation is needed to keep up with the number of students who use the Commons daily.

“The building has essentially lived its warranty life,” Binzer said. “It is in need of an upgrade renovation and so they are going to take the opportunity to enlarge it a bit and configure it for the kind of traffic it gets.”

Zachry

Renovations on the Zachry Engineering Center, the home of undergraduate studies, began in February. When the renovations are completed in January 2017, the building will be the single largest academic building on the Texas A&M campus. The new building will also house flexible-layout labs and smaller classrooms for more student-teacher interaction.

Butler said a great deal of progress has been made over the summer.

“We have begun the demolition of the interior parts of the building that need to come out and we have relocated the utilities including domestic storm drainage,” Butler said. “We also replaced the electrical and went to fiber-optic cable for our internet services inside the building.”

The building will be renamed the Engineering Education Complex upon completion.

Engineering Activities Building

The greenhouses across Lubbock Street from the Commons have been converted into new engineering classrooms and office spaces. While the buildings themselves were completed to house classes during the spring semester, a summer landscaping project is underway.

Tell Butler, manager of engineering facilities, said the project will beautify the whole area and include water features, shaded spaces and meeting spaces. Butler said the Engineering Activities Building complex will serve as important space for engineering while the Zachry building is under renovation.

“It was a good opportunity to reuse space on campus that was being very poorly used,” Butler said. “So engineering invested a significant amount of money to reuse that property and to use those building as swing space while the big building was under construction.”

Student Recreation Center

Since May of last year, construction crews have been at work expanding the Recreation Center by over 113,000 square feet. This expansion will include new basketball courts, a weight room expansion, new fitness rooms and an indoor lap pool.

Rick Hall, senior associate director for the Department of Recreational Sports, said the renovation is in response to the increase in students Texas A&M has seen since 1995.

“All areas from the weight room, the courts, and the pools were over crowded, creating an uncomfortable recreational experience,” Hall said. “The replacement of HVAC and mechanical systems, the general degradation of the roof and the need to upgrade the lighting system in the Rec Center also necessitated the need for this project.”

As of now, Hall said the lighting renovation is 95 percent complete and the roof renovation is 80 percent complete.

Hall said the project is scheduled to be completed by April 2016.

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