Texas A&M University Commerce, Master Plan Commerce, Texas

Firm: Freese and Nichols, Inc.

Associated firm: Newman, Jackson, Bieberstein Landscape Architecture

Design team: Freese and Nichols: Alfred Vidaurri, AIA, Tommy Stewart, AIA, Jim Notman, PE, Robert Kinkel; Newman, Jackson, Bieberstein: Karl Von Bieberstein, Melanie Vanlandingham, Marlo Paris

Client: Texas A&M University System; Keith McFarland, President

Area: 2.2 million sq. ft.; 154 acres

Total cost: $100 to $150 million (includes total buildout of all projects identified by the master plan, including renovation, facilities upgrades, infrastructure and new construction)

The Texas A&M University System sought to provide a campus master plan for Texas A&M University — Commerce. The topics covered in the plan included:

  • Building/infrastructure condition assessment.

  • Campus capabilities.

  • Projected needs.

  • Projected educational goals.

The problem at A&M — Commerce was too much space; the university actually was overbuilt by 227,542 square feet. As a result, the team developed the plan based on the following concepts:

  • Consolidate square footage.

  • Consolidate colleges while strengthening their identities.

  • Group people and activities to increase vitality.

  • Create a campus center of activity.

  • Promote connected growth.

  • Promote multiple use.

  • Promote distinctive, memorable spaces.

  • Strengthen the university's image.

The master plan recommended building construction, modification and removal strategies. It recommended modifications to parking and vehicular circulation to promote safety, while enhancing the character of the campus. Finally, it created distinctive and unifying outdoor spaces and pedestrian linkages that promote learning, social interaction and recreation.

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