College Station: A Great Place to Live, Work & Play

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By Jay Socol, Director for the Office of Communications in College Station

Ranked No. 3 on Kiplinger magazine’s list of 10 Great Places to Live, College Station has also been recognized as one of the top 10 places for business, jobs, families, and retirees.

In recent years, the city has also been named America’s No. 1 college town and was a finalist for the nation’s friendliest.

With a population of about 110,000, College Station ranks among the fastest-growing metros in the country while boasting one of the lowest property tax rates in Texas.

College Station is home to Texas A&M University, one of the country’s five largest public universities. The Aggies are members of the Southeastern Conference, and Texas A&M’s international influence supplies a healthy diversity of race, culture, and nationality that reflects vibrancy, tradition, and spirit.

College Station is located in the heart of central Texas within a three-hour drive of five of the nation’s 20 largest cities. A network of well-maintained highways and a regional airport provides convenient access from just about anywhere.

College Station is also the only city in the country with six nationally accredited departments — parks, public works, water, fire, police, and public safety communications.

Safe and family friendly
College Station is among the safest and most family friendly places in Texas, consistently maintaining one of the state’s lowest crime rates. Kiplinger’s has also ranked College Station among the nation’s 10 best places to raise a family. The College Station Independent School District is rated among the state’s best and has produced more than 100 national merit semifinalists in the last decade.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions.

College Station’s 55 public parks cover more than 1,377 acres, with many providing amenities such as tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, walking/jogging and nature trails, a competition-quality skate park, and a large outdoor amphitheater and festival site.

The city offers a variety of adult and youth recreational programs such as softball, basketball, volleyball and kickball leagues, summer swim lessons, and a competitive swim team.

Thriving economy
In 2015, College Station ranked No. 2 nationally on Forbes magazine’s list of the Best Small Places for Business and Careers. The city has worked closely with Texas A&M and the City of Bryan to develop the Biocorridor, a high-tech research area that will spark the area’s economic growth for years to come.

In December, the area’s unemployment rate stood at 3.4 percent, well below the state and national rates.

College Station History
In 2013, College Station celebrated the 75th anniversary of its incorporation as a city. The community’s origins go back to the founding of Texas A&M College, which opened in 1876 as Texas’ first state institution of higher education.

The area was designated as College Station by the Postal Service in 1877. The name was derived from the train station located to the west of the campus. Citizens voted 217-39 on Oct. 19, 1938, to incorporate as The City of College Station.

The city council adopted a governmental structure similar to the council-manager form of government. At the time of incorporation, state law did not allow a general law city to hire a city manager so College Station employed a business manager until 1943 when state law was changed. In fact, College Station was the first general law city in Texas to employ a city manager. When College Station’s population exceeded 5,000 in 1952, College Station voters approved a home rule charter that provided for the council-manager form of government.