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July 29, 2013

Oklahoma’s Headington Hall meets athletic administrators’ expectations

NORMAN — When Joe Castiglione became Oklahoma’s athletics director in 1998, he took over a department with some aging and antiquated facilities.

Some upgrades were made quickly. Others had to wait; like a new dormitory to house the Sooners’ incoming athletes.

“When I got here, they were one of the facilities that had fallen way behind,” he said.

That changed Sunday afternoon as OU students and student-athletes began moving into the $75 million Headington Hall. The 380-bed facility may very well be the crowning achievement in the facility boom that’s occurred at OU over the last 15 years.

The facility, which will house 200 non-athlete OU students, puts OU in the lead in the arms race that’s taken over college athletics.

The dorm, which will house the freshmen in all of the Sooners’ sports as well as some second-year athletes, was constructed to be a one-of-a-kind facility.

“I think it sets the standard. I haven’t seen one that would compare to this,” Castiglione said. “Anytime we do something at Oklahoma it’s to create a standard of excellence and uphold anything that allows us to pursue excellence. At this point, it stands alone in its uniqueness, sustainability, its services to the students who will live here and use it on a daily basis. The classic and timeless architecture choice makes it feel like it is integrated with the rest of campus.”

Headington Hall sits to the southwest of Owen Field. Obviously, the football facilities are close by, but so are the training premises for track and field, volleyball and wrestling.

The Sam Bradford Dining Hall, which is located on the ground floor, will serve as the training table for Sooner athletics. Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy, donated $500,000 for the facility. Former All-American running back Adrian Peterson pledged $1 million.

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