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Texas A&M quietly continuing plans for Spence Park renovations

(KBTX)
Published: Oct. 12, 2016 at 5:13 PM CDT
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Texas A&M is looking at long term plans to spruce up Spence Park.

Last year, a grassroots movement started online. There are some aging aspects of the park, and reaction from the campus community about changes was mixed.

Spence is a popular place for Corps members and students looking to get fit. Aside from that and tailgating weekends, it's not a place where students spend much time. There's some worn out grass, an aging creek bed and some obvious wear and tear.

"I really appreciate the bit of nature where you can go set up a picnic blanket. I think portapotties are kind of detracting from it when you walk past," said Kathleen Koenig, an A&M Student.

Some ideas suggested include upgrading the creek area to a lake, adding permanent restrooms and maybe even a restaurant.

"If they could spiff it up again, that would be nice," said Koenig.

A university official close to the situation, as well as students, have told News 3 they've heard about plans to tear down the President's House. We reached out to Texas A&M's chief marketing and communications officer, Amy Smith. She tells us she can't share anything conclusive about future plans there.

"I think it's nice. I think it looks good where it's at. If it were to be torn down, I guess that's just what it would be," said Nicholas Kelly, another A&M student. The Corps cadet would also like to see more exercise stations.

"I personally think it's really sad. I think it's a part of A&M's history, and I think they should keep it there even if they turned it into more of an educational center where they could open it up, sort of like, I guess, the Sanders [Corps of Cadets] museum where people can go through and look at the history of the different presidents and the impact they’ve had. But I would definitely say to keep it," Koenig said. "I love Spence Park. It's beautiful, and I hope that whatever changes they do make to it, they're positive changes," she added.

An online petition to renovate Spence Park has nearly 1,000 signatures, but not all students think the park needs a big makeover.

"These portapotties are locked all the time except for game day, so restrooms would help, but I don't think there needs to be a restaurant or anything. A water feature might take up a little more space than needed," said A&M student Justice Chan.

Texas A&M does not currently have a timeline for the renovations.