The Norman Transcript

May 10, 2013

OU Regents approve building renovations and upgrades

By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved major renovation and master plan projects for prominent Norman campus facilities at their May meeting Thursday afternoon.

The top five on the approved priority list for the campus’ master plan of capital improvement projects, with estimated costs, were Hester Hall renovation $13.5

million, Rupel Jones Theater renovation in the Fine Arts Center $5 million, classroom renovation/improvement $3 million, Radar Innovations Laboratory $15.8 million and campus bicycle/pedestrian paths $2 million.

A separate master plan will soon be drafted for facility-wide improvements to the Lloyd Noble Center, as the regents approved seeking a contract with an architectural firm to evaluate and design solutions for the center’s needs.

“The building is nearing its 40th birthday. We need to comprehensively review the buidling’s condition, amenities and what we need to prioritize moving forward,” Athletic Director Joe Castiglione said.

Another project approved by the regents was a dramatic update for the lower level of the Bizzell Library’s Neustadt wing, introducing collaborative learning spaces and meeting areas, spearheaded by Dean Rick Luce.

“This renovation will provide easier learning and discussion hubs for students and faculty. It’s truly visionary and will be a wonderful addition,” OU President David Boren said .

Bizzell renovations will drastically re-purpose approximately 18,000 square feet of the Neustadt Wing and is estimated to cost $5 million in New College distributions and private funds.

A $1.2 million budget for the Oklahoma Memorial Union Technology Store was approved, as well as $270,000 for Lloyd Noble Center parking lot repairs.

Following notice that their grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation was denied, the Women’s Outreach Center will receive $7,499 from the Reserve portion of the Student Activity Fee.

The measure was approved by the student body and Student Government Association during the Spring 2013 semester.

Other measures and actions include:

· Passage of a resolution honoring outstanding athletic scholastic achievement at the university

· Passage of a resolution honoring the football team, men’s and women’s gymnastics teams, rowing team, men’s tennis team and 2012 Softball team

· Passage of a resolution to name a portion of the Price College of Business facility for outgoing Dean Kenneth Evans

· Announcement that Vice President for Strategic Planning and Economic Development Daniel Pullin will serve as interim dean for the Price College of Business