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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Safety improvements change campus

Friday, September 14, 2007  
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By Alison Roberts

For most Oklahoma Christian University students, navigating through construction is a way of life. Administrators hope several of the improvements underway will result in a safer and more convenient campus for students, faculty and visitors.

Motorists that use Oklahoma Christian’s main entrance on Memorial Road will notice a new traffic signal soon. Director of security Fred McGinn said this light will regulate the dangerous conditions faced by those entering and exiting campus.

“Since I have been here, there have been at least two, if not three, serious accidents involving students at that entrance,” McGinn said.

Kathleen Duncan, a mother of two Oklahoma Christian students, was concerned about the potential danger this intersection caused, especially during rush hour. Duncan contacted Executive Vice President Alfred Branch and together the two approached Edmond city officials about the light.

“It will be very good for safety,” McGinn said.

The light will have sensors so it does not slow down regular traffic flow on Memorial Road unless there is a car waiting in the intersection.

Oklahoma Christian is installing a lift in the Davisson American Heritage building this semester as well. The project will bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This project has been a long time coming,” the Assistant Professor of Education Caren Feuerhelm said. “It took the Student Government Association’s activity to get this off the ground.”

The project began last semester when students saw a need to accommodate Professor of History John Thompson’s recent health struggles. Automatic doors were in place, but no other accommodations were available.

“The whole building has shifted around,” Feuerhelm said. “We’ve lost two classrooms and an office, but this needed to be done.”

Last semester, SGA set up a fund-raising initiative for the elevator. The group continually brought the need to the attention of administration. After working with the City of Oklahoma City building ordinances and codes, permission for construction was granted, Feuerhelm said.

“Because we’re catering to a more diverse student body now, these changes were necessary,” Feuerhelm said. “Hats off to the SGA.”

On the east side of campus, work crews along Benson Road are burying power lines.

“This will improve aesthetics,” Director of Apartment Operations James Lauderdale said. “It also will withstand wind and ice better.”

Electricians work to bury power lines in conjunction with the project to increase lighting on the east side. McGinn said he worried about students walking across the street between the apartment buildings and the main campus, and the lighting will create a safer path for students to travel.

Lauderdale said that updates to Phase II, III and IV have resulted in improved living conditions for many students. The outer roof on Phase III received new shingles, and many of the apartments received updates.

“Select appliances were replaced,” Lauderdale said. “Twenty sets of furniture were replaced in apartments with the worst wear, and 35 units received new carpet.”

Many of the apartment updates took place over the summer because housing was at maximum capacity for the fall semester.

Photo by Aubrey Coble

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