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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Enterprise Square regains prominence

Tuesday, February 5, 2008  
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By Lindsay Autry

In the past few years Enterprise Square has faded from prominence, with no large addition of value to the campus of Oklahoma Christian University. Many students have used it as an art gallery, practice area for Spring Sing or space for View 63, but underneath the surface, there have been plans for change for this building.

The bottom floor of the building now houses the executive offices for the Academy of Leadership and Liberty. This building will offer a stronger connection to the school itself and will have a professional look that will encourage students, both graduate and undergraduate, toward progression.

The new plans for the Academy will expand the building to 70,000 square feet.
This will include new offices, classrooms, a new student center for those students in the apartments and an atrium with a glass elevator. The building will be in use almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Academy will hold 11 new classrooms on the first floor. These rooms are for the programs that are currently overcrowded such as the growing MBA program and undergraduate business courses, nursing, language and literature and art.

"Although these classrooms are only for specific disciplines, it will benefit the entire campus," Assistant Director of the Academy of Leadership and Liberty Chris Malan said. "With the HBC and MLC emptying, there will be plenty of room for other programs to prosper."

Students in these fields are also anticipating the changes.

"This addition will be beneficial to the business program because I enjoy the one-on-one with professors, and when there's only one class a semester with 40 people in it, I can't always get the assistance that I need. This also offers the chance for more classes to be added," junior accounting major Candra McGill said.

There will be 70 new offices in the building. They will be mostly the executive offices that are currently on the second floor of Mabee Learning Center. These house the president, vice president of advancement and their staffs. These offices will all have natural lighting.

The plans also include a new student center which will cater to the students living in the apartments. The center will possibly house a coffee shop and small deli as well as a convenience store.

The renovation is designed for the mid-career professional, since it will be utilized by MBA students who are currently in middle management with their companies. It is planned to have a very executive feel.

"One of the most difficult parts about this reconstruction was trying to figure out how to either get rid of or work around the series of ramps in the middle of the building," Malan said. "What the architects presented us with was wonderful."

Their plan is to create an open, airy space with the atrium that will let in natural light and use the west side of the building as the main entrance onto the second floor. The atrium will serve as the center of the building.

Instead of removing the ramps, which would be a large expense, they will become part of a viewing area for a self-guided tour where visitors can walk through and see important figures in Oklahoma history. These include the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Historical Society, exhibits featuring women and great Americans in general and many other exhibits displaying other prominent leaders. Most of the exhibits will use touch-screens displaying important people along with facts and figures.

This renovation costs about $6.5 million, including furnishings

There is about $1.5 million already raised toward this project, and they are giving themselves through December 2010 to raise the remainder of the money. They are confident they will acquire it well before then. Pre-renovation is scheduled to begin on April 1, when the contractors will take out all non structural items. Once construction begins, the renovation will take about 12 months to complete.

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