A&M Regents Wrap Up Meetings

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The Ags are ecstatic about the university's outlook following the system regents meeting.

"It's been a great Regents meeting for Texas A&M," said university president Robert Gates. "We've gotten approval of the Mitchell physics buildings. We can proceed with those."

The new facilities are courtesy of a $35 million donation from frequent donor and A&M alum George P. Mitchell.

"I would observe, for the record, that the two Mitchell buildings for Physics have about twice the value of all the athletics facilities that were approved," Gates noted.

Of course, there's still millions of dollars worth of improvements coming the way of Aggie athletics, much of it in new video and scoreboards at Kyle Field, Reed Arena and Olsen Field.

"There's going to be a high 'wow' factor," said Jeff Schmahl with the athletic department, "and we know that it will also have an impact on recruiting, so we're excited about what this will mean for Texas A&M athletics, not just in football, but in all of our sports."

A new indoor sports facility was also approved, one that will house a number of practices, along with tennis tournaments and track meets.

Speaking of track, the Anderson facility will get a facelift, with the hopes that after a multi-million dollar improvement, major meets could come to Texas A&M.

Easterwood Airport and the Brayton Fire School also got approval for improvements to their respective facilities.

And regents and Gates reached an agreement on the struggling MSC hotel. Money from the buying of deluxe rooms will go to the MSC to help find room for student events.

"Any space that's not sold will be allocated for student meeting rooms," said Gates. "I think it's a win-win for students in that sense."

It's worth noting that with 51 agenda items on their plates, including over $100 million worth of building improvements discussed Friday alone, the Regents did finish half an hour early.

The final item for this set of meetings was the naming of a sole finalist for the presidency of West Texas A&M University. That person is Patrick O'Brien, the dean of the College of Business Administration at Loyola University.

A&M Vice Provost William Perry was one of the candidates for the position. Regents said it was an extremely difficult choice, and that Perry was highly qualified for the position.