March 31, 2006

RSU Announces Construction of Major Student Facility

Rogers State University will begin construction this fall on its new Student Services Center – a two-level, 50,000-square-foot facility that will combine student development programs under one roof, serve as a central location for students to study and socialize and provide a focal point for the RSU campus in Claremore. The new facility also will offer expanded ballrooms, conference centers and meeting rooms for the community.

The building will be distinguished by an open, pedestrian-friendly design plan, exterior colonnades and terraces and a combination of traditional and contemporary architecture.

"Along with the Stratton Taylor Library, this facility will serve as a centerpiece of the Claremore campus," said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley. "As the university has experienced phenomenal growth, the shortage of facilities has been our greatest impediment to providing a top notch educational experience for our students. This new facility will provide the modern amenities to better serve our students' needs."

The Student Services Center will replace Thunderbird and Post Halls, which were determined to be too costly and structurally insufficient for renovation by a team of architects and engineers. The buildings will be demolished in August. Thunderbird Hall was the former location of the university's library and Post Hall presently contains a small and outdated banquet room. The new facility will be situated on the present site of the two buildings and will include an expanded parking lot.

The new building was designed by ADG Architectural Design Group and construction will be managed by Trigon Contractors, both of Tulsa.

The exterior will feature red brick similar to that used on many other campus buildings and extensive use of glass, allowing for a maximum amount of natural light. A colonnade and terrace on the west side of the building will face the interior campus mall, looking toward Will Rogers Auditorium and Stratton Taylor Library. The west terrace will contain a fire pit and provide space for outdoor student events.

A multi-level colonnade and terrace on the east side of the building will retain the popular view overlooking Douglas Lake and the city of Claremore. The east terrace will feature steps leading down the hill to a smaller terrace suitable for weddings or small events.

"The terraces on both sides of the building will in effect provide two faces or main entrances to the facility," Wiley said. "They also lend an ‘indoor-outdoor' quality to the building and more space for outdoor events."

The ground level of the building, which will contain approximately 36,000 square feet, will feature an indoor promenade and a central rotunda with an information desk. An open-air food court and large student lounge and seating area will be located on the promenade near the rotunda. The first floor also will feature a student recreation area, which will contain space for student activities. The RSU Bookstore will be located on the building's west side. Student computer laboratories, a campus convenience store, faculty lounge, kitchen and food staging areas also will be located on the first level.

The east end of the first level will be dominated by a ballroom overlooking the lake. The ballroom, at more than 7,000 square feet, will feature 15-foot ceilings and the capability to be partitioned into three smaller ballrooms of varying size.

"The ballroom is designed to provide versatility for a wide variety of campus and community events," Wiley said.

Loading docks will be located on the south side of the building to provide convenient access to University Drive and Camden Road.

The second level, at approximately 13,000 square feet, is highlighted by offices for student development programming. Three conference and meeting rooms will be approximately 950 square feet each and will be available for community groups. A board room will provide meeting space for committees and will feature windows overlooking the first level. The central portion of the second-floor promenade will be open, overlooking the first level and featuring a glass rotunda above. The semi-circular area in the middle will provide space suitable for public art or academic exhibitions. Construction of the Student Services Center will be funded by a combination of general university appropriations, proceeds from the recent statewide capital bond issue and private donations.

The facility is expected to be completed in the fall of 2007. Events will not be held in Post Hall after July 31. For more information about scheduling events in Post Hall, call Chuck Lucia at (918) 343-7843.