Summer rains delay campus construction
Friday, September 7, 2007
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
"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
"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.