Safety improvements change campus
Friday, September 14, 2007
By Alison Roberts
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
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
“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,
“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