Rodger Mallison This is where the A&M directors will dine six times a year. OBSERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South March 28, 1975 5oe It’s on you The biggest Aggie joke of all College Station When The University of Texas spent almost a million dollars a couple of years ago renovating and refurnishing the Bauer House for a chancellor’s home, it turned into a dandy little scandal. But UT’s munificence was small potatoes compared to the loving extras Texas A&M University has lavished on its new $28 million University Center. Take the new $10.9 million Memorial Student Center for starters. The MSC is bulging with brick, tile; bronze, carved wood, macrame, fountains, sculptures, giant shrubs in redwood planters, etched glass, flags, antiques, murals, wooden globes, and even brass-legged benches covered with hairy cowhide. This, of course, is for mere students. The special wing constructed for the Aggie board, which meets six times a year, includes an individual suite for each director, a $9,000 cloisonn vase, Italian marble busts, a 450-piece setting of sterling silver flatware, Japanese silkscreens, Chinese mandarin figures, bluebonnet paintings, and antiques from virtually every period since Attila the Hun. The MSC has become something of an issue on campus, at least as much an issue as anything ever becomes at A&M. Since last fall, reporters from The Battalion, the Aggie paper, have been plowing through purchase vouchers, piecing together a financial picture of the giant complex. In addition to the $10.9 million MSC, the project includes a $10.5 million Theatre Arts and Conference Center, a $1.4 million Board of Directors Annex, and a $490,000 Former Students’ Wing \(this landscape the complex and $3.3 million for interior decoration. IT’S THAT $3.3 million tab for furnishings that has stirred the most gall. The board of directors \(they’re called York firm of William Pahlmann and Associates, Inc., to do the job. Pahlmann is a native Texan of some renown who had done some private work for one of the directors, H.C. Heldenfels of Corpus Christi. Pahlmann and Associates is receiving $402,000 in fees and expenses for its services. Approximately 63 percent of the cost of the Center complex will come from the Available University Fund, which is the interest on the earnings of university lands. Two-thirds of the $706 million Permanent University Fund goes to UT and one-third goes to A&M. The money is mainly used for building because state law sets first priority for the fund as payment of debt service on construction bonds. During the late lamented Constitutional Convention there was talk of spreading the proceeds from the fund among all state-owned universities and/or allowing the money to be spent for things like books or teachers’ salaries. UT and A&M administrators
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