A new parking garage is planned for the Texas A&M University flagship campus adjacent to the Emerging Technologies Building on University Drive, with the five-story structure planned to add 1,685 vehicle spaces next year.

During a regular meeting in College Station on Thursday, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the scope of the project and appropriated about $70.5 million for construction services and related project costs. Regents unanimously approved the project without discussion. 

The Polo Garage will be built on Lot 50. The parking structure itself is planned to be 546,00-square-feet, and the project also includes an attached 74,850-square-foot structure that will include office space for Transportation Services, dining and recreation uses to support the growing northern section of the campus. 

The scope includes a 23,277 square-foot recreation center on the ground level of the adjacent structure, office space on the second level as well as a food court and a common space.

The total budget for the project is about $78.4 million -- roughly $7.8 million has previously been appropriated. Construction is scheduled to begin in March, with the parking garage estimated to be substantially complete in July 2020. The rest of the building is scheduled for completion in October 2020. 

Also at Thursday's meeting: 

  • The regents adopted a resolution pledging the system's "perpetual commitment" to honor the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush. The 41st president was buried on the grounds of his presidential library on campus aside his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, and their daughter, Robin, in December. 
  • The Institute for Precision Nutrition, Responsive Agriculture and Health, led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, was approved. According to a press release, the institute will help tackle unrealized opportunities to reduce diet-related chronic diseases.

"It will become the guiding force in the U.S. for nutrition, food system and agricultural policy," Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in the release. "The new institute will forge together the linkages between food and nutrition, spanning a variety of research disciplines in finding solutions to make us healthier and reduce overall annual healthcare costs."

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