Contact: Frank Griffis or Rod Davis
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas—When students return this fall to the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, they will notice a number of improvements, including new signage, refurbished classrooms and the start of construction on a new dorm.

The improvements are all part of the university’s $27-million redevelopment plans, which include both short-term and long-term projects for the 83-year-old campus. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents was briefed on the plans during its regular meeting on Thursday and board members expressed their continued commitment to the project.

“This is an investment in the students, faculty and staff of Texas A&M-Kingsville, and the redevelopment plan will help us bring the university to a new level of academic excellence,” said Michael D. McKinney, M.D., chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “Getting a top-notch education is about more than bricks and mortar. It is important for us to provide students and faculty with the latest technologies and an environment that fosters learning and discovery.”

“All of these projects are focused on creating a quality environment for the students,” McKinney said. “We want to provide them with the type of facilities that will help propel the campus to prominence.”

Short-term projects that will be completed by the end of the summer include:

• Demolition of the married student housing complex. The aging structures will be torn down this summer, but will be replaced with a new 600-bed facility. Construction will begin in October and is scheduled to be completed in August 2009.

• New signage will be added throughout the university, as well as at the entrance to the campus and throughout the city of Kingsville. The A&M System is working closely with the City of Kingsville and Mayor Sam Fugate on the best placement of the new signage.

• New lighting will be added to central campus, an addition that is aimed at assuring student safety.

• Another measure to ensure student safety will be the installation of new, easily detected emergency call boxes throughout campus.

• The auditorium and two classrooms in the Biology Earth Sciences Building will be refurbished, utilizing a new benchmark for interior finish-out for classrooms and auditoriums campus wide.

• The game rooms in the Student Union Building will be repainted and equipped with new lighting fixtures and some furnishings.

Long-term plans include the possible acquisition of additional land for housing needs, demolition of two more aging dormitories and relocation of the serpentarium and archives. A feasibility study also will be performed to determine if the student center should be renovated or replaced.

About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $2.9 billion. Through a statewide network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 106,000 students and makes more than 15 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research brings in almost $627 million every year and helps drive the state’s economy.