Q&A - March 10, 2017

Life for a college student has to be more than just attending classes, studying and taking tests. What a dreadful existence that would be! Students need a social life filled with extracurricular activities. They need to make new friends while they are attending college and gain new experiences outside of the classroom.

This is what we call “student life,” and OSUIT has a very active Office of Student Life. Their mission is to offer student-centered services necessary to provide a total education environment that fosters positive individual growth while encouraging individual participation of our students through social, recreational, cultural, civic, and wellness activities.

Let me tell you about some of the new developments in this area.

Q:Construction crews have been working on your fitness building on campus. What are they doing?

Funded entirely by revenue from Student Activity fees, Covelle Hall is currently undergoing a much needed renovation. This building is the hub for most of our organized student activities on campus. It was named after L. Keith Covelle who was the first director (president) for the Oklahoma A&M College School of Technical Training. He led this institution from 1946 to 1963. Covelle Hall was originally constructed in 1961 and had major additions in 1974 and 1995. Within this 47,000 sq. ft. facility, there is a full-sized basketball court, a large lecture-style auditorium, a well-equipped weight room and exercise room, two racquetball courts, a golf simulator, a sauna, and locker rooms, making it one of the most popular facilities on campus for OSUIT students. In recent years, we have replaced the HVAC systems in the building, repainted all of the steel siding on the exterior, and completely refurbished the auditorium to a like-new appearance.

One crucial inadequacy of this building, however, has been a serious lack of restroom space during large events. Because Covelle Hall is where OSUIT conducts its graduation ceremonies, this limitation becomes a big problem at least three times a year. There are no lines to get into the ceremony itself but plenty of long lines to use the restrooms. The current building renovation will address this issue by adding 20 new restroom stalls before our next graduation ceremony in April.

In addition to new and expanded restrooms, this $977,000 renovation will reclaim much of the underutilized first floor spaces on the north end of the building. New Student Life offices will be constructed. A new 1,386 sq. ft. exercise room will be added. The existing weight room will be almost doubled in size (2,142 sq. ft.). All new floors, walls, lighting and ceilings will give these renovated spaces a brand new look and feel. Student clubs and organizations will gain office and meeting room space within the building. The north entrance will receive new storefront doors and windows to complete the rehab and create a formal entrance to the building from the interior of campus. When this work is all done, Covelle Hall will once again be a functional and proud showpiece on the campus of OSUIT.

Great observation and question this week; thank you. Please continue to forward your questions to osuit-president@okstate.edu.