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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Covering A&M’s ever-changing landscape

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Photo by Cushing Meomorial Libary and Archives

As Texas A&M expanded, The Battalion covered every addition from electricity around campus to Kyle Field’s redevelopment. 

Throughout its history, Texas A&M has undergone expansion, construction and welcomed increasingly large groups of new students. The Battalion has served as A&M’s constant in all the change and provided students and faculty with coverage of each new addition to the campus for the last 125 years.
From the university’s first natatorium to the most recent reopening of the Zachry Engineering Education Complex, The Battalion staffers have attended numerous grand openings of staple buildings, keeping the A&M community up-to-date on the ever-expanding campus.
Early editions of The Battalion, going back to 1893, focused on the minute changes, along with what should be added around the university. It was written in a more editorial style, with the writer listing new additions and improvements for students and adding personal opinions sporadically.
“What a broad subject! Look around yourself and with that feeling of peculiar pride compare the college of ‘92-’93 to that of the present year,” one article stated. “The electric light and power house is soon to be put in the operation, and then a long-felt want will be a thing of the past.” 
Around the turn of the century, the stories became more formal and informational rather than editorial. One story in particular displayed an image of Goodwin Hall, the 65-room dormitory that was to be built within the year.
Stories continued to be informational, providing graphics of campus growth and including the cost of expansion, along with comments from the university board of directors regarding the projects. 1965 proved to be a busy time for coverage, with six buildings going through construction and costing about $41.9 million for A&M. The Battalion deemed this the time of “Booming Construction.” 
When updates on these projects followed in 1975, the news of a multi-million dollar building and landscaping program was released. This addition to campus led to stories including Board of Director meetings and the board’s thoughts on said projects. 
“A multi-million dollar building and landscaping program is underway on campus, which most of the construction scheduled for completion by the 1976 Centennial Year,” staff writer Jim Peters wrote. “A description of the current projects follows.” 
As the student population grew, stories started focusing on grand openings and the benefits the buildings would provide students, rather than construction plans or financials. For example, the new opening of the Human Clinical Research Facility in 2017 highlighted how the buildings would benefit the students and faculty in the College of Education and Human Development. 
Photos and galleries became more common in the storytelling, as well. Whether it was a photo of the building or a photo gallery showcasing the buildings’ many amenities, The Battalion staff offered its readers with both a visual and written representation of the campus additions. 
Some of the major construction moments that have been covered by The Battalion include the $485 million Kyle Field renovation, the Bonfire Memorial in honor of the 12 victims of the stack collapse in 1999 and the newly finished Doug Pitcock ‘49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center. 
With over 68,000 students and counting, the university and its students are sure to experience more construction and coverage of campus expansion in the years to come. The Battalion will continue to be there to offer the Aggie community updates, information and grand opening coverage of new additions to the university.

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