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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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Commons renovation promises modern student living experience

Photo by Vanessa Pena

After renovations, the commons will have a more modern design

For the first time since it was built in 1971, the Southside Commons area will receive a complete facelift.
According to a feasibility study conducted by Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects in 2011, the renovations will focus on a more modern and “inviting” design.
Dan Mizer, senior associate director for the Department of Residence Life, said because the Commons is so popular with students, the renovations seemed an obvious plan of action.
“The Commons was built in 1971, and even though it’s been a great facility for us, it’s just time for a refresh,” Mizer said. “The student population from the time the Commons was built has grown. We added five additional residence halls since the Commons was built.”
Mizer said the renovations will put the main Commons building out of commission until the fall 2017 semester.
“We were concerned about noise levels and safety for the students, and moving people around, so it’s necessary,” Mizer said. “If we’re going to bring the Commons up to today’s standards and make it a great building, it’s just something that takes long to do.”
Courtney Bryant, marketing director of Chartwells, the company responsible for A&M’s food service, said many new dining options will be available after the renovations, including several made-to-order food options.
“In regards to dining renovations, the main level will feature a new Aggie Express convenience store,” Bryant said. “The lower level will feature a state-of-the-art dining hall that will, in some ways, resemble the look of the newly renovated Sbisa dining hall. The location will focus on freshly prepared dishes that are created in front of the student.”
Shelby Linn Wallace, history senior and current Community Advisor who has been displaced as a result of the construction, does not feel as though the construction will detract from incoming freshman housing experience.
“With two residence halls being off-line, that takes away several hundred rooms,” Wallace said. “Luckily, with new dorms and apartments being built, there will be additional housing for incoming freshmen.”
The residence halls on Southside will re-open this fall.

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