Word that Texas A&M University at Galveston is partnering with a private group to build a 612-bed dormitory on Pelican Island set off the usual shock waves. People who develop real estate objected that the $55 million project would cut into the private market.
It’s much the same argument that critics of public housing have made. Students are generally low income. Some wags wondered whether anyone would sue, since this plan concentrates all these low-income people into an area north of Broadway, the traditional home to some of the island’s poorest neighborhoods.
If you can cut through the usual Galveston banter, though, the striking thing about this news is that it suggests the enormous potential for growth of this campus.
We’ve said this before, but A&M Chancellor John Sharp’s vision of a campus with 20,000 students seems entirely realistic.
All Galvestonians ought to be pushing that idea — and pushing for a new bridge to Pelican Island.