NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma has begun the demolition of Adams Center, marking the start of a new era in OU Housing and Food Services. The 12-story building served as a home to thousands of students for almost 60 years, and its upcoming demolition will make way for two new residence halls that will provide more than 1,150 beds collectively.
The demolition ceremony took place on Thursday, May 4. Demolition is officially expected to begin May 15 on the north side of the building.
“Adams Center served as a landmark in so many students’ OU experiences, including my own,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “The memories and relationships it left with us will not be forgotten, and we will offer those same community-building opportunities to generations to come with a new living environment of the highest quality.”
Adams Center opened its doors in 1964 as the first of the three iconic residential towers on OU’s Norman campus. In 1965, it was named for K.S. “Boots” Adams, then-chairman of the board of directors of Phillips Petroleum Co.
“The 1964 design of Adams Center differed from Walker and Couch centers. Unlike the other two buildings, Adams had four separate buildings that allowed for smaller communities and created a big yet small experience for OU Housing residents,” said ShaRhonda Maclin, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and associate dean of students. “As we anticipate the future of OU Housing, we will be able to recapture the feeling of connectedness and community with the variety of options in our new housing master plan. The memory of Adams will not only live on in our past residents but will continue for many years to come.”
The new residence halls will feature community lounge spaces with kitchenettes, music and study rooms, storm shelters, an on-site coffee shop and a convenience store. The university plans to start construction on the north residence hall in the fall of 2023, with a planned opening in fall 2025. Construction of the south residence hall is slated to begin in 2024, with a planned opening in fall 2026.
For those who wish to own a piece of OU history, bricks or room numbers from the original Adams Center can be purchased online. More information about Adams Center’s history, the demolition project and the brick/room number sales is available on the Adams Center demolition project homepage at home.oufoundation.org/FarewellAdams.
The university also plans to demolish and replace Walker and Couch Centers in future phases of the housing master plan.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit ou.edu.
About the OU Foundation
The University of Oklahoma Foundation is an independent charitable organization that facilitates and manages philanthropic gifts to support the University of Oklahoma. With a culture of integrity, skill and persistence, we align the passions of donors and our alumni with the indelible mission of the University of Oklahoma.