The Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University has been the campus' focal point for over 50 years. It is a place for students to meet, study, and most importantly, it is a memorial to Aggies who have lost their lives in war.
The building has a lot of history, but it is also showing its age. It was last renovated in the 1970's, and now the MSC is slated to get a makeover.
"It's really the focal point of student life," MSC President and Texas A&M student Jonathon Glueck said.
The MSC was built in 1951 when the university's enrollment was about 6,000. The center still bubbles with life and tradition, but it is not withstanding the test of time.
"The ceilings are discolored. The tiles are cracked. There are pipes falling apart across the building," Texas A&M student William Hotze said.
There are mechanical, electrical and plumbing issues, and the building is not ADA compliant. Plus, it is not large enough to hold the thousands of students that now attend A&M.
"It's like having a family of eight in a two bedroom house," Hotze said. "I mean, this was built for 26,000 people and we have 46,000 going to school here."
That is why the university wants to expand and upgrade the MSC, a project that will cost $122 million.
"We're a world class university and we need to have a world class student union that honors the fallen Aggies of the past, and ultimately that's what the MSC does," Texas A&M student Allison Murry said. "It is a living memorial for Aggies who have lost their lives in battle."
Students will foot two-thirds of the bill if the student body votes for the project. That would mean a $60 increase in tuition per semester.
The remainder will come from outside donations and from businesses that occupy the building.
A master plan has been designed that makes finding your way around the MSC easier. There will be more room for student meetings and activities, new eateries, and the façade of the building will be modernized.
"We'll have a building that is welcoming and stays true to the feel of Texas A&M," Glueck said.
The project is expected to take four to five years, with construction not starting until late 2008.
For more information on the project click on the link below.