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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Central Utilities Plant

The+stack+stands+at+a+mighty+204+feet+tall+and+a+crane+with+a+boom+of+270+feet+was+used+to+lower+both+an+inspector+and+an+engineer+into+the+stack.
Photo by By Meredith Seaver

The stack stands at a mighty 204 feet tall and a crane with a boom of 270 feet was used to lower both an inspector and an engineer into the stack.

Since 1894, Texas A&M University has been producing electricity and utilities on campus. The Central Utilities Plant, or CUP, was constructed in its current location in 1916. The University “Smoke” Stack was built during a power plant expansion in 1941 and completed in 1942. At full work capacity, the plant supplies 70 percent of the electricity on campus.

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  • The crane used during the inspection had over 40 tons of counter weight to balance the boom.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • The Aggie Water Tower is included in the perimeter of the CUP. It reads “Welcome to Aggieland”, the same as its predecessor. 

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • Contrary to what many believe, the column of the water tower is hollow with a single pipe down the middle.  The rest of the space is actually used for storage.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • The water tower stands over 180 feet tall and is a major component of the Aggieland skyline.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • This is one of many water cooling towers operating in order to provide air conditioning to all classrooms on campus. 

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • The cooling system used by the university is a process of pumping hot water to the plant, cooling the water, and supplying cool water used to air condition campus. 

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • The inspection is performed to ensure the stack will be capable of serving the next generation of Aggies. The results will determine what repairs, if any, need to be made.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • Every 10 feet, the inspector and engineer would stop to make sure measurements were consistent and the siding did not sound hollow.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • The “Smoke Stack undergoes inspection in October. Although referred to as a “Smoke Stack,” it is actually used to release steam.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • When the stack was originally constructed, it read “A&M COLLEGE” and each letter was 7 feet tall. The steel reinforced concrete foundation is 38 feet across and 5 feet deep. 

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • The control room of the CUP is used to monitor operations, alerts, and security of the plant.

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
  • While operating, the plant is capable of producing 600 pounds of steam at around 750 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Photo by By Meredith Seaver
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