Thursday, March 17, 2005

OSU Tulsa

OSU's continuing efforts to build up it's Tulsa campus are impressive. The OSU Tulsa Vision 2020 plan calls for 20,000 students at the Tulsa campus fifteen years from now. Talk about a rebirth in downtown! With help from Vison 2025 and the forth coming bond for higher education in Oklahoma the campus will continue to grow with the addition of the high tech research center and student housing. Here is an article from The Daily O'Collegian, the OSU student newspaper.

OSU-Tulsa will begin construction on new research center in April.

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa plans to expand the university by building a 180,000 square-foot research center and university housing in downtown Tulsa.

OSU-Tulsa will begin construction for the Advanced Technology Research Center in April.

The center will be constructed in two phases. Phase I will contain 110,000 square feet and will involve construction of specialized laboratories, faculty offices and seminar rooms. Phase II will contain 45,000 square feet and will add classrooms, computer laboratories and general laboratory space.

“OSU-Tulsa has a lot of classroom and office space now, but we do not currently have any faculty or graduate student research space,” said OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl. “The research center will provide lab and research space for faculty and graduate students primarily in engineering.

“The research center will not only benefit us (OSU-Tulsa) but will also benefit OSU and the state of Oklahoma. It will bring positive opportunities for creating new technology and will attract new industries to the state.”

Trennepohl said the research center will focus on four main areas of research: advanced materials, information technology and sensors, energy technologies and bio-based technologies.

The project is projected to cost $45 million. Vision 2025 is providing OSU-Tulsa with $30 million for the construction of Phase I and $15 million for Phase II of the project.

Vision 2025 is an organization created by the city of Tulsa and Tulsa County in September 2003 when voters of Tulsa County approved a one-penny increase in sales tax for 13 years.

The goal of the organization is to further develop Tulsa’s economy and build community facilities for the benefit of its residents. Vision 2025 provides funding to projects that will improve Tulsa’s economy.

“The projects all have an edge toward economic development,” said Kirby Crowe, program director for Vision 2025.

“The research center will benefit the city because it will fit into Tulsa’s regional economy development plan and position the community for job advancement.”

Vision 2025 uses Tulsa County sales-tax money instead of the university’s money to build the center, Crowe said. The money enables the facility to be designed and constructed, he said.

Dewberry Design Group of Tulsa is the architect of the research center, and Flintco will serve as construction manager.

Trennepohl said the center is expected to be finished in January 2007. Once the center is complete it will hold 25 faculty members, 40 graduate students and five to 10 visiting professors.

“Now is when we need to start hiring faculty to work at the center, attracting graduate students to study there and getting hardware for the buildings to do research,” Trennepohl said.

According to the Vision 2025 Web site, the research center will create new jobs and attract new industries to Tulsa. It will produce an annual payroll of $8 million to $10 million including federal and private research funds.

OSU-Tulsa plans to attract students from around the world with the research center when completed.

To assist international and out-of-state students, the university plans to build apartment-style university housing in downtown Tulsa. The apartments will house about 150 to 200 students.

“The housing will help students transition into the state and university. Any person working downtown and enrolled in our master’s program will be eligible to live in the university housing,” Trennepohl said.

The apartments will be constructed by a private firm, Capstone Construction.

OSU-Tulsa hopes for 20,000 students to attend the university by the year 2020. There are currently 2,700 students enrolled.

Trennepohl said OSU-Tulsa owns about 200 acres of land that it can use for development of the university.

“I visited the OSU-Tulsa campus over Christmas Break, and it looked a lot nicer since the last time I saw it last summer,” psychology freshman Nikki Wyatt said. “I was very proud of the university because of how much it had improved.”


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