Southside Rec Center Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas
Construction Cost: $27.4 million
Area / Square Feet: 63,000
Occupancy Date: August 2022

Texas A&M University has the largest student body in the State of Texas, with more than 69,000 students enrolled at its College Station campus. The new satellite recreation facility meets the school’s need for expanded recreation services and helps alleviate overcrowding in the main recreation center, while offering more student employment opportunities. 

The Southside Rec Center enhances the student wellness ecosystem by making recreation more accessible to the robust student population living in the 11 adjacent residence halls.

Large glass openings showcase the recreation program along the primary facade, drawing students into the activity. The sidewalk pulls the campus into the courts, lobby, strength and conditioning high bay, and dramatic outdoor fitness terrace. 

The simple parti consists of two high bay spaces (multipurpose courts to the north and a 100-by-200-foot strength and conditioning space to the south) that flank the central support “bar” of the main lobby, bouldering wall and locker rooms under the floating movement of the “white box” containing group fitness, offices and cardio mezzanines. 

This new facility blends elegantly with the campus vernacular. An existing row of live oaks was protected to frame a grand entry plaza on a main campus arterial street, with a crosswalk and pedestrian path to student residences. A perforated metal scrim along the facade mimics the expression of the oaks. High-performance glazing with ceramic frit patterns and perpendicular shading fins reduces heat gain in the hot Texas climate. An overhang on the south and west facades protects the glazing and provides shade. As a result, occupants enjoy natural light and pleasing views. Bioswales around the bike parking area gather water and distribute it to a detention area during the rainy season. Lush native planting around the building’s base controls rainwater runoff. All plantings, hardscape and exterior limestone were sourced within 100 miles.

Architect of Record


Dallas, Texas


Locker/Shower - Shower/Toilet PartitionsBest Bath
FansBig Ass Fans
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Scoreboards/Timing SystemsBigTimeClocks
Locker/Shower - FlooringDal-Tile
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Basketball Backboards/SupportsDraper Inc.
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Divider CurtainsDraper Inc.
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Volleyball Nets and StandardsDraper Inc.
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - Basketball Backboards/SupportsDraper Inc.
Gymnasium Equipment ControlsDraper Inc.
Badminton / Pickleball Game SystemsDraper Inc.
Net WindersDraper Inc.
Fitness Center - Climbing WallsEldorado Climbing
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - LightingERCO
Fitness Center - Entertainment SystemsEV Innovative Design
Locker/Shower - Shower/Toilet PartitionsGuardian Glass
Locker/Shower - LockersHollman Inc.
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - LightingInsight Lighting
Fitness Center - Free-Weight EquipmentIron Grip
Fitness Center - Strength EquipmentIron Grip
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Sound SystemsJBL by Harman
Fitness Center - Entertainment SystemsJBL by Harman
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Wall PaddingJohn F Clark
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Bleachers/GrandstandsJoshtom Millwork
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - LightingKim Lighting
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - LightingLAI
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - Bleachers/GrandstandsLandscape Forms
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - LightingLinmore
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Scoreboards/Timing SystemsNevco Sports LLC
Building Systems - SkylightsOldcastle
Laundry - DryersPellerin Milnor Corp.
Laundry - WashersPellerin Milnor Corp.
Fitness Center - Free-Weight EquipmentPower Lift
Fitness Center - Strength EquipmentPower Lift
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - LightingQ-Tran
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - Sports SurfacesRFS Sports
Fitness Center - Flooring, Fitness CenterRFS Sports
Indoor Sports Surfaces - MultipurposeRobbins Sports Surfaces
Indoor Sports Surfaces - VolleyballRobbins Sports Surfaces
Locker/Shower - Shower/Toilet PartitionsScranton Products
Fitness Center - Entertainment SystemsSoundtube Entertainment
Fitness Center - Flooring, AerobicsSports Impact
Fitness Center - Flooring, Fitness CenterSports Impact
Fitness Center - Cardiovascular EquipmentTechnogym
Outdoor Facilities/Stadiums - LightingZaneen