Campus community contributes to construction


Mary Mitchell

Students and staff made their mark on a piece of the new OC.

Last week, the Oakland University community was invited to make an everlasting contribution to campus.

As a celebration of the construction on campus nearing its halfway poin students, faculty, staff and alumni were welcomed to sign their names on a beam that will be placed in one of the high sections of the Oakland Center expansion and renovation.

President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz and Chief Diversity Officer Glenn McIntosh were among many whom signed the beam.

The beam signing took place just inside one of the constructions fences, next to the sidewalk between South Foundation Hall and the OC. Workers chipped away at the future buildings in the background, while passersby entered to participate.

“This is the south portion of the building, which will be the expansion area with ballrooms and student social space and study space and a restaurant concept and so we’re pretty excited about it and so today is the beam signing,” McIntosh said. “It’s like tradition, where you get students and staff out here to sign the beam as a signification that they were here when we decided to do this project and when it got underway. So it’s historical.”

Seniors Abi Hornung and Kaylyn Thompson stopped to sign while walking on campus between studying for exams, unaware that the event was taking place.

“I’m glad that we got to leave our mark, our last year before we leave, on something that we don’t really get to see the effects of now. But we’ll get to see it when we come back,” Hornung said.

“Plus the stress ball, you know?” Thompson added about the yellow, construction-hat shaped, foam souvenirs that participants were given. Considering it was midterms week, the stress balls must have come in handy for many.

The construction, which began four months ago, is expected to finish in September of 2018. McIntosh said that the goal is to have a ribbon cutting ceremony for the students that return next fall.

The total construction effort, which has blocked several entries and made campus commute difficult this year, is 60 thousand sq. feet. Upon completion, students will have plenty options of entry into the OC. Students will also have several new places to pass time between classes comfortably eating, studying and socializing.

While construction crews have been making progress on the project, it was a special privilege for everyone witnessing this progress from the outside of the gated mystery, to have a chance at contributing to the effort by adding a personal and physical touch.