Report: new construction plans proposed, includes housing and OC expansion

Grace Turner

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OU could be in for more construction.

During a facilities and new development projects committee meeting on Sept. 28, OU officials discussed four potential building projects for OU. Before any are approved, a request for proposal (RFP) must be submitted which outlines project specifics and estimated costs. The committee also decided what to do with Sunset Terrace.

While all of the ideas seem beneficial, OU has a limited budget and so must pick and choose.

  1. Housing – Glenn McIntosh, vice president for student affairs, and Jim Zentmeyer, director of university housing, announced plans for a new housing and dining hall on the south side of campus. The hall would house 750 students within six floors. McIntosh and Zentmeyer pointed to OU’s growing student body and the increasing demand to live on campus. The project is estimated to cost about $77 million and would be completed in August 2018.
  2. Oakland Center – McIntosh and Richard Fekel, director of the OC, hope to expand the OC, creating more spaces for dining, relaxing, studying and hosting student organization events. The project would cost about $40 million and be completed in December 2017. An alternative plan was to repurpose the OC and make a new student center, but the idea was rejected because of the OC’s central location on campus and the added costs.
  3. Elliott Hall – Michael Mazzeo, dean of the school of business administration, pushed for an expansion of Elliott Hall with space for group work, design studios and an area for corporations to advertise employment opportunities to students. The building is the home of OU’s school of business administration. The project would cost from $32-35 million and would be completed by August 2019.
  4. Athletics – Jeffrey Konya, director of athletics, wants to have the Lepley Sports Center renovated. The center would get classrooms, offices, a student lounge and a new basketball court and other practice spaces so teams can practice year-round. It would cost about $6.9 million and would take 4-5 months, Konya said.
  5. Sunset Terrace – Traditionally, OU’s president has lived in Sunset Terrace, which was originally a retirement home for Alfred and Matilda Wilson, according to oakland.edu. The committee decided that President George Hynd will live there as well. According to Post archives, there was some debate about this. The house could have been turned into an alumni house or a Dodge museum, but the committee said repairs will cost less than $100,000 if Hynd lives there.