Scot Walker '90 February 20, 2020 1:31 PM updated: March 4, 2020 10:52 AM
Texas A&M University, in conjunction with The Association of Former Students, has kicked off a campus beautification project that The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M Foundation will lead on a lease-back arrangement with Texas A&M University. A ceremonial groundbreaking took place on Feb. 29, 2020, with an anticipated completion in spring 2022.
The 20-acre green space, located between the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center and the John J. Koldus Building, will be redesigned for much-needed outdoor space for study, relaxation and events. The space will provide improved accessibility and beauty for the campus, to include water features, an outdoor amphitheater and enhanced student activity areas. Tributes honoring Distinguished Alumni and former university leaders will be interspersed among ample green space. In addition, a new facility is being planned for a second phase, to be constructed and jointly operated by The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Foundation to house the Aggie Ring Program, as well as Foundation staff, and to host Aggie Ring Day and other special events.
Get a virtual drone’s-eye view of the new Aggie Park, coming spring 2022,
in this video that premiered Feb. 29 at the official groundbreaking.
Porter S. Garner III ’79, President and CEO of The Association of Former Students, indicated this milestone project will create a welcoming and inspirational space for students, faculty and staff, former students and all who visit the Texas A&M campus.
The Association of Former Students is proud to play a lead role in this landmark project for Texas A&M and looks forward to seeing Aggie Park emerge as a place of inspiration, celebration and reflection for the entire Aggie Network,” Garner said.
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young stated:
“We are excited about this project. From beautiful places to study and relax to an outdoor amphitheater for events, Aggie Park will be enjoyed by generations to come. We are grateful to The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Foundation for their commitment to raise private funds to make it happen.”
A series of student, faculty, staff and former student meetings has been underway to inform the needed designs and functionality of the space. Construction is anticipated to be completed in 2022 with provisions to ensure that traffic and tailgating during 2020 and 2021 remain uninterrupted.
Originally conceived as beautification in the form of a lake or water feature adjacent to the Kyle Field renovation, the project has since taken into account the growing needs of the student body, from Aggie Ring Day that can draw more than 6,500 students and 40,000 family members, to outdoor event space, full Wi-Fi capability and other priorities articulated by students and others.
John Sharp ’72, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, offered:
“Aggie Park will be a grand statement that says ‘Welcome Back’ to former students and ‘Howdy’ to campus visitors while becoming a favorite greenspace for students. I look forward to seeing it when it is complete.”
Student body president Mikey Jaillet ’20 added his endorsement:
“As the largest student body in the nation, we have craved and needed more useable outdoor green space. Whether it’s a concert on the lawn or simply gathering for outdoor conversation on a sunny day, students will undoubtedly enjoy this public space in many ways for years to come.”
OJB Landscape Architecture has created the park design, Lake Flato is providing architectural services for the building, and Midway will manage the project through construction.
Tyson Voelkel ’96, President of the Texas A&M Foundation, described the project as an opportunity for collaboration, recognition and vision.
“Aggie Park is an opportunity for the university and its affiliated partners to build a space that recognizes the past, embraces the future and helps enable the continued unique blend of Aggie values to thrive.”
The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Foundation will raise the estimated $25 million needed to transform the park.
Work will commence in March, beginning with the removal of One Circle Drive, an events space and former President’s Home. Key architectural elements of the house will be preserved for future use.
The 12th Man Foundation, while not directly involved operationally in the project, is a strong proponent of the endeavor.
President and CEO of the 12th Man Foundation, Travis Dabney ’96, offered his organization’s support of the project, saying, “We’re thrilled with the renovation that will serve the 12th Man 365 days a year as well as make for a beautiful setting for tailgating and national programs like ESPN GameDay.”
More information about Aggie Park, including conceptual designs, timelines and frequently asked questions can be found at AggiePark.tamu.edu. Additional questions can be directed to AggiePark@AggieNetwork.com.
Media may contact Kathryn Greenwade ’88, vice president for communications and human resources at The Association of Former Students, for more information: KGreenwade88@AggieNetwork.com or (979) 845-7514. Inquiries can be also be routed to email@example.com.
High-resolution concept renderings are available for download at https://tx.ag/AggieParkRenderings.