Enterprise Square regains prominence
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
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
"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.