COLLEGE STATION – Phase I construction of the $80 million Texas A&M Equine Complex began Oct. 9, 2012, on a 400-acre property located on F&B Road in College Station. The start-of-the-art complex is set to become the most elite facility of its kind in the world for equine science education, research and outreach.
Dr. Eleanor Green, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, said as internationally recognized academic leaders in equine veterinary medicine and equine sciences, Texas A&M has an obligation to serve the needs of Texas, a leader in the equine industry.
“This facility provides another opportunity for us to do so, through advancing the health and well-being of horses and the strength and viability of the equine industry so important to Texas,” she said.
Planning for the new center began in May 2012 when the Texas A&M Board of Regents approved negotiation of a ground lease with an anonymous donor that allowed for Phase I construction to begin. This cornerstone gift, combined with in-kind and other major gifts, brings support generated for Phase I construction to approximately $35 million.
Initial construction will include an education and outreach center, facilities for the Texas A&M Equestrian Team and a cross country course in collaboration with Texas A&M Athletics.
The Texas A&M Equine Initiative was formed to bring together the equine expertise and resources of Texas A&M together in a collaboration that solidifies the university as a national leader in equine research, teaching and outreach.
Dr. Jim Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the equine initiative, said, “The new equine complex will be state-of-the-art and will facilitate the meaningful interactions among students, faculty, veterinarians and other professionals that will set Texas A&M apart in terms of a complete equine education. This is exciting for everyone connected with this project.”
Both the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have been instrumental in providing the equine industry with knowledge and care that have advanced not only equine sciences, but the welfare of the horse as well.
Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “The College is pleased to add this world-class facility as the cornerstone of our efforts to expand in the area of equine science.”
Dr. Russell Cross, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science, said, “We are excited about the opportunities for our students to learn and interact in such an outstanding facility. This will allow our students to engage in important collaborations with peers and faculty, and will enhance their educational experience.”
Additional phases of construction will include facilities for nutrition, reproduction and exercise physiology research, a teaching arena and will include a remodel of the existing Freeman Arena.