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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Summer rains delay campus construction

Friday, September 7, 2007  
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By Sara Shumate

This summer's unusually heavy rains caused many delays for Oklahoma Christian University's current construction projects. Vice President Alfred Branch estimates that all construction projects on campus are approximately two and a half months behind schedule.

Current construction projects across Oklahoma Christian's campus that were affected by the rain delays include Max and Ramona Dobson Field, the two fields of a new intramural complex, and the Lawson Commons project.

"Our biggest project right now is the Lawson Commons project," said Branch. "All the [weather] records have probably cost about two and a half months on our schedules over the summer in terms of originally planned and budgeted completions. That being said, we do believe that the pavilion will be complete by mid-September. The only remaining item that they will be working on right now will be the sealing and staining of the concrete underneath the pavilion and then the landscaping around the pavilion. So we'll be moving the construction fence west of the pavilion once that is complete, and then the construction will be confined the area around the tower. The Freede Centennial Tower is also behind, but they are working as fast as they can to complete it. The completion date for that is around the first of November, in hopes of having the dedication on the ninth of November, the Friday of Homecoming."

Dobson Field and the intramural complex are the first part of Oklahoma Christian's plans for a rework of its athletic facilities, which will eventually include two more intramural fields, a new soccer field, and a new softball stadium.

"Dobson Field is expected to be ready for use in the spring for the beginning of the baseball season," said Branch. "This will be Oklahoma Christian's first baseball season since 2001, when the program was shut down."

"Dobson field was also significantly delayed due to all the rain. We had to have all of the dirt work and irrigation redone, but now the final grades have been made to the playing surface and the irrigation is done, and we're looking to put grass down on the field in the next few weeks. Once the field grass is in place, you'll start to see work on fencing, dugouts, and those type of things. Our goal is to have it ready for play when the baseball season begins in February," said Branch.

Each of the new intramural fields will consist of a softball diamond and an area for football and soccer. There will also be a building for concession and restroom facilities, as well as equipment storage. The two intramural fields already in progress will be ready for use beginning next fall. Part of the old intramural facilities has been taken over by the construction of Dobson Field, Director of Intramural Activities, and therefore, Rick Judd has had to make alternative arrangements for this year's intramural sports.

"For football, we will be able to play on our old fields," said Judd. "We've got temporary power so we'll have lights. It's going to be hard; we're going to have to have two fields together so that they share a sideline. So it's not going to be easy, but we'll be able to get two fields and play our normal football season."

"Construction of the new fields should be completed by next spring, but the fields may not be ready to be played on to allow sufficient time for the sod to take root," said Judd.

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