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A&M's One Goal: Two Bush Libraries

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A new push for a new Bush Library is underway.

"We're just in the process of doing lots of research about the possibilities relevant to programs, what are our own ideas about how the relationship might look," said former Texas A&M administrator and current consultant Robert Bisor.

Bisor spent Tuesday in meetings over the current President Bush's future library. The university is among a handful of finalists, among them SMU and Baylor, with the deadline for submitting proposals set for September 15.

"We're probably going to be working up until the very last minute before we actually get our proposal in," Bisor said. "So we'll probably have it ready to go on the 14th."

While university officials aren't tipping their hand as to where the location of the new library would be, they are saying that proximity to the current library is important, and obviously, they have a lot of real estate they can work with. Among other possible ideas to be discussed: offering up the Reed House off of George Bush Drive as a place for dignitaries to stay, and even an IMAX theater on the library grounds.

"What we don't want to do is propose things that are out of our reach, but at the same time, we really want to dream," Bisor said.

Bush has said a public policy institution would be a must in any proposal.

So are two presidential libraries better than one? "There's an economy of scales to be gained here," Bisor explained. "You can research two legacies in one visit, or a couple of visits."

A couple of visits is what Christina Sheldon and her husband say it would take to check out two libraries here. It took the entirety of her one-day trip to the Twin Cities to check out everything in the current Bush Library. To her, the chance for a library elsewhere is intriguing.

"Bryan and College Station are very pretty, but I'd like to see it go in another area so I could do a day trip somewhere else," Sheldon said.

Aggie Justin Thomas made the current library a stop on his family's visit from California.

"You know, to bring people in here to see it...there's already people that come from around to see this one," Thomas said. "Having a father and son next door to each other would be really neat."

And it's the latter opinion is the one A&M believes is most prevalent, and an opinion they hope scores them a presidential pair.