Texas A&M University Rec Sports opened its Southside Recreation Center today with a grand opening celebration. The event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours and awards, as well as speakers including Student Body President Case Harris ’23, Vice President for Student Affairs Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr. ’79 and Rec Athletic Director Rick Hall welcoming the campus community to the latest in a growing family of campus recreation facilities.
The Southside facility is near the intersection of Bizzell Street and Mosher Lane, across from the Commons residence halls and near the Corps of Cadets Residence Halls and the A&M Golf Course. It features 63,500 square feet of indoor recreational space and an additional 15,000 square feet outside.
“Texas A&M Rec Sports is excited to provide students, faculty and staff with more opportunities to recreate through our many facilities, programs and services,” Hall said. “With the Southside Rec Center, Student Rec Center and Polo Road Rec Center located across campus, Rec Sports members and guests now have access to a facility within a 5-10 minute walk.”
The new facility offers a variety of custom equipment in the strength and conditioning space, two multi-sport fields and a fitness studio/multipurpose room. Additionally, there is a bouldering wall complete with a new line of climbing holds and bouldering routes of varying difficulty. The outdoor space has two sand volleyball courts, a turf area with exercise equipment and lawn space for entertainment and activities.
University officials announced the project in the fall of 2020, citing the need for additional recreational facilities to accommodate A&M’s growing enrollment as well as having facilities located on the main campus.
The original Rec Center opened in 1995 on West Campus and is the largest at more than 400,000 square feet; an average of 8,000 visits per day. The Polo Road Rec Center opened in January 2021 next to the Emerging Technologies Building. It is connected to a parking garage and a food court, and averages 3,750 visits each day. Additional Rec sports facilities include the Penberthy Complex, which averages around 5,000 visits per week, and the Physical Education Activity Program (PEAP) building, which averages 2,100 visits per week.
Hall said Rec Sports is proud not only of its facilities, but also of the development opportunities made available to students in the form of employment and leadership.
“Each year, Rec Sports employs 1,000+ Aggies, putting $3.7 million back into the pockets of students who need to fund their educational experience,” he said. “Student employees have the opportunity to serve on the student employee advisory council for student leaders and apply for grants and scholarships for professional development.”
Officials estimate Southside Rec Center attendance will average between 5,000-6,000 visits per day.