Q&A - September 2, 2016

At OSUIT, we take great pride in the physical appearance and functionality of our campus grounds and facilities. It is important to us that our campus be well-maintained, safe and attractive for all visitors. While there are improvements being made throughout the year, it seems like a lot of big projects happen over the summer months when many of our students are away from campus on internships. With fewer students and cars on campus, it makes it safer and easier to accomplish certain large maintenance tasks.

This week, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of many who keep our campus operating by highlighting a few of visible and not-so-visible improvements to campus.

Q: What kind of campus improvement projects have occurred this summer?

Throughout the summer, there have been several projects underway to improve campus facilities. For instance, stamped concrete parking lot islands that resemble patio pavers have been poured in various locations around campus. These attractive upgrades are more than cosmetic; they will be virtually maintenance free—eliminating the difficult task of mowing and trimming grass between parked cars. The back of the Center for Nursing & Health Sciences also received a similar makeover with a new stamped concrete patio. This scenic gathering space, overlooking a pond and fountain, also corrected some drainage issues that had developed since this building was originally constructed.

The OSUIT Student Union has also received a cowboy-themed facelift. Stacked stone archway entrances with rustic signage have been installed at the bookstore, post office, copy center, and cafeteria. A new Wayne Cooper masterpiece has also been added. Wayne is the artist who sculpted our Frank Eaton (aka Pistol Pete) statue that now adorns our south entrance to campus. Last spring, we commissioned him to produce a large painting of Frank Eaton to go outside our Cowboy Café (cafeteria). The new 4’ x 5’ oil painting features Frank Eaton leading a cattle drive on a river crossing. It is a stunning work of art and will be on permanent display in a specially designed case in the main atrium of the Student Union. In addition, the cafeteria itself underwent a major overhaul this summer. New drain lines were run in the floors and walls of the kitchen and dish room.

Additionally, there have been numerous other HVAC projects, street and asphalt repairs, roof replacements, interior lighting upgrades, lab and office improvements, foundation stabilizations, wall repairs, floor and carpet replacements, and painting projects all across campus. These, along with the routine building and grounds projects, have kept our physical plant staff very busy all summer long.

There has been much progress on campus, but I believe the most public improvement has been the addition of the new lighted entry sign, with dual message centers, at the 4th Street entrance (in the Pistol Pete Plaza). This monument style sign has two faces and can easily be seen by campus visitors approaching from the east or the west.

We really love to show off our campus. Please come visit us at your earliest convenience. If you have additional questions or comments about OSUIT, please send them to osuit-president@okstate.edu.