Cheers to the new year

It’s no doubt that 2011 was a significant year at Oakland University. With the myriad of national and local attention we received, as well as the variety of on and off campus events we had, we can only hope that 2012 will be just as favorable.

While we may not be looking forward to the proposed “end of the world” as the Mayan calendar suggests, we are looking forward to some notable OU advancements:

The opening of the human health building. The 161,000-square-foot Human Health Building is scheduled to finish before the end of the year. The building, which will be home to the School of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing, was first approved in 2008. The $62 million building, which was paid for via grants, state funding and general revenue bonds, will include a geothermal heat pump system and will be the first “green” building on campus.

More student housing. An unexpected increase of demand left many students without dorm rooms at the start of the fall semester. After 100 male students were placed in hotel rooms at a local hotel, administrators began to develop plans for an additional housing facility. The city of Auburn Hills also approved and have begun constructing a facility for graduate students from OU, Cooley Law School and Oakland Community College. The building, which will be located in downtown Auburn Hills, will include 97 units, an attached parking garage and a separate study facility. The building, which is being paid by the city and a private contracting company,  is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The remodeling of O’Dowd hall. The building, notably known for it’s glassy exterior, will be remodeled beginning this year to fix problems with air and water leaks. Costing less than $6 million, it will go through an entire transformation with hopes to increase its energy conservation measures.

The development of a new engineering building. At the last Board of Trustees meeting, a budget of $60 million was passed for the development of a new engineering building. The building is expected to double the amount of engineering students enrolled in the school.

Our new redesign. In case you haven’t noticed, Oakland Post staffers have been working hard to redesign the newspaper, paying close attention to the things you want most. After receiving input and conducting focus groups, we are pleased to present our new look, complete with a brand new staff.

The development of the OU brand. After two large-scale branding focus groups, two 4-credit courses and many ideas, the main thing we’re looking forward this year is the launch and implementation of the university’s new brand. We’re hoping that having a concrete identity will help abolish second thoughts of the school as a university and place to get a credible college diploma. We’re hoping it will not only drive more enrolment, but create a sense of campus community and a place for Grizzlies to call home.

Now that 2012 is upon us, what are you looking forward to most on campus? Tweet us at @theoaklandpost.

The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The Oakland Post’s editorial board.