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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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Initial signatures gifts put toward $20 million goal

Band+hall
Photo by Provided
Band hall

The capital campaign for a new Music Activities Center received three initial signature gifts from Aggie couples Anne and David Dunlap ’83 of The Woodlands ($3 million), Patti and Weldon Kruger ’53 of College Station ($1 million) and Elizabeth and Paul Motheral ‘52 of Spicewood (proceeds of the sale of their home on Lake Travis), according to an A&M press release. 

The new facility, which will house university orchestras, choral groups and bands, including the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, will replace the E.V. Adams Band Hall, which has been used at beyond its full capacity of 200 since its opening in 1970. When E.V. Adams opened, only about 200 students needed access to it daily, but today that number has grown to over 1,300.

Brig. Gen. Joe Ramirez Jr., commandant of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, said the Aggie Band has not been allowed to practice inside E.V. Adams since 2012 due to safety issues.

“It’s an old building, and has become unsafe to use,” Ramirez said. “It has no fire alarms, no sprinklers, not enough exits and it’s acoustically unsafe. It would be negligent of us to allow the Aggie Band to practice in it.”

Timothy Rhea, director of Bands and Performing Ensembles, said these recent donations will pave the way for an upgrade that is long overdue.

“Our facility has been inadequate for a number of years,” Rhea said. “[These donations] allow us to begin our fundraising campaign in earnest to have a facility that will be deserving of what our students need and expect.” 

E.V. Adams houses only one rehearsal hall and four individual practice rooms, none of which provide any sound-proofing from one another. The new facility will be state-of-the-art, featuring four acoustically soundproof rehearsal halls, including one with the capacity to hold twice as many people as the entire current building, and keycard operated entries that will allow access for students 24 hours a day, as opposed to current eight-to-five restrictions. 

In addition to improvements inside, the new facility will include a full-sized turf practice field that will prevent weather from disrupting Aggie Band practices.

“Even in good weather, when the Aggie Band goes out you have 400 people counter-marching on the same yard line time after time,” Rhea said. “That makes all these holes and divots that you have to worry about. Then you have the weather. [The new facility] will alleviate so many of those problems.”

According to the press release, the Dunlaps, Krugers and Motherals will all be honored by the completed project.

“The drill field adjacent to the building will be known as Dunlap Drill Field; the plaza will be named the Patricia C. and Weldon D. Kruger ’53 Plaza; and the Aggie Band rehearsal hall will be named in honor of Paul and Elizabeth Motheral,” the release said.

Rhea said those honors are well deserved. 

“I don’t think we can thank them enough,” Rhea said. “It’s wonderful to know that the time they had at the university and whatever musical groups they participated in meant enough to them that they were willing to make these kind of donations to make sure our current students have an adequate rehearsal facility.”

The fundraising for the $40 million project began with a $20 million commitment from the university. According to interim Vice President of Student Affairs Tom Reber, the remaining $20 million must come from private donations like the signature gifts announced in Wednesday’s press release. Reber said 75 percent of the $20 million must be put forth in order for the construction to have official approval.

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  • The current Band Hall is no longer large enough to house all of the Aggie band. 

    Photo by Valerie Gunchick
  • The Aggie Band has far outgrown the only band hall on campus.

    Photo by Valerie Gunchick
  • The E.V. Adams Band Hall shows off some 70’s architecture.  

    Photo by Valerie Gunchick
  • The E.V. Adams Band Building houses multiple Aggie bands. 

    Photo by Valerie Gunchick
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