College Station, Texas is home to many attractions and amenities. Among them are the main campus of Texas A&M University, Blinn College, George Bush Presidential Libray and Museum, Easterwood Airport, Santa’s Wonderland, the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas World Speedway. According to the US Census Bureau, College Station has an area of 49.6 sq. miles – 49.4 sq. miles of land and 0.19 sq. miles covered by water. It is centrally located within a megaregion known as the Texas Triangle: Dallas-Ft Worth, Austin-San Antonio, and Houston, and they are connected by I-45 on the east, I-10 on the south, and I-35 on the west.
College Station is bordered on the north by the city of Bryan. Together, they are referred to as the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, or BCS for short. These twin cities make up the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in Texas, with over 203,000 people.
They were not always joined together. In 1860, the Houston and Texas Central Railway began to build a railroad through the area and eleven years later, the site was chosen to be the home of the proposed Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school (first in the State) was created as a land-grant college through the Morrill Land-Grant Bill of 1862. The City of Bryan donated 2,416 acres in an effort to entice the commisioners who had been appointed to locate and build the college, to build it there. It was some five miles from Bryan at the time. In 1877, the Postal Service named the area College Station because of the train station located west of the campus. In 1963, the Agricultural and Mechanical College was renamed Texas A&M University.
The population of College Station grew slowly. In 1884, there were 350 people and by 1900, it was only at 391. As transportation methods improved, so did the growth of College Station. Today, College Station has a population of over 117,000.
Climate – College Station experiences subtropical temperatures. The temperature during summer months can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, although most days do not get that warm. Winters are generally mild with only short periods of low temperatures. Snow and ice are possible, but rare.
Economy – As of December 2017, SalaryExpert (Economic Research Institute, Inc.) reports the cost of living in College Station as 12.8% less than the average cost of living elsewhere in the United States. Unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the State (2.9% in January 2018). The largest employer in College Station is Texas A&M University, employing over 16,000 people. Post Oak Mall, which was the first mall in the city and covers 82 acres, is the largest taxpayer in College Station and the second largest in the Brazos Valley. Over 75% of all retail sales in the Brazos Valley come from Post Oak Mall stores.
Liveability.com ranks College Station as #41 out of the top 100 places in the United States to live, and #1 in the State of Texas. The reason: “Safe neighborhoods, good healthcare, highly rated public schools and 55 local parks helped boost College Station onto this year’s Best Places to Live list.” (https://livability.com/best-places/top-100-best-places-to-live/2018/tx/college-station).
Medical District – The Medical District is a focused healthcare and wellness district which encompasses the Highway 6 and Rock Prairie Road areas. Within this area are approximately 1,700 acres in south College Station, which have been designated for medical facilities, walkable village centers, commercial space, and a variety of residential options. The Master Plan includes an extensive linked network of trails and open spaces to enhance the concept of a healthy community focused on wellness. This district includes the College Station Medical Center (“The Med”) and Baylor Scott & White Hospital, both of which are on Rock Prairie Road just a short distance from Rock Prairie Baptist Church.
Bio-Corridor – The Bryan-College Station Research Valley’s Bio-Corridor is the epicenter of biomedical technology. It is a high-tech research area that includes research and clinical studies, as well as the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, devices and vaccines. It is located close to the intersection of Hwy 60 and Hwy 47.
Presidential Corridor -College Station is home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which was opened in 1997 at Texas A&M University. It is the Presidential Library and Museum of President George H. W. Bush (#41). Some 100 miles away in Austin, Texas, is the home of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. It opened in 1971 as part of the University of Texas at Austin. The road(s) in between the two Presidential Libraries were named the “Presidential Corridor” in 1997. The corridor traverses five Texas counties.