A new residence hall is on the horizon for East Central University.
With the help of a $10 million bond through the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority’s Master Real Property Lease Program, ECU is projected to have a new residence hall on campus by the fall of 2018.
The residence hall is being paid for through the Master Lease program issued through the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority. The ODFA issues the bonds for this program that are secured by a lease with the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education and by a sub-lease through ECU.
“This new residence hall allows us to bring new housing options to our campus and to better meet the needs of our students,” said ECU President Dr. Katricia G. Pierson. “Housing revenue will be used to service the debt on the new residence hall over the next 20 years. Based on the dates our residence halls have been built, it’s time that ECU invests in where its students live and learn outside of the classroom.”
The most recently built residence hall on campus was Tiger Commons in 2003. Previous to that was Pesagi Hall, built in 1965.
The project was originally bid last year, but was put on hold when the bids exceeded the $10 million projected total. During the past year, university personnel have worked with the architect and construction management team to make design modifications to reduce costs.
The new 39,000 square-foot, three-story facility will feature 125 beds at double occupancy, five RA rooms, five study rooms, one group study room, two floor lounges, one building lounge, two laundry rooms, one recreational room, one community kitchen, an elevator and mailboxes for residents.
“Students will have an opportunity, in the academic year, to view and vote on furniture options and plans are to have display design boards soon so people will be able to see the design on the inside,” said Deborah Chalmers, director of ECU’s Housing and Residential Life.
In recent years, there has been a waiting list to get into ECU housing and several people have been turned away because of the lack of space, according to Chalmers.
“This was after we increased the number of beds through reconfiguring some living spaces,” Chalmers said.
The facility will be located on S. Francis Ave. and E. 14th Street, across from the Mayhue Tennis Courts.
“Professional architects interviewed, inspected and reviewed our campus,” Pierson said. “The architects suggested we move the new residence hall to the (Ada) Arts District for several reasons.”
Those reasons include:
*it creates a more pedestrian-oriented campus
*it gives better access to businesses on Mississippi and in the Arts District
*this location is already owned by the university
*the residence hall is in close proximity to the Taff Cafeteria, and therefore, the geography was considered the best place to build.