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OU to Enhance Infrastructure to Further Support Academic and Research Missions

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OU to Enhance Infrastructure to Further Support Academic and Research Missions

March 12, 2024

NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma is furthering its commitment to excellence in education and its research mission of improving the lives of Oklahomans by making several strategic facility enhancements, including construction projects that include a new innovative weather research and radar advanced manufacturing facility, renovations to Stephenson Cancer Center, modernizing research labs, and improvements to a student success center, student housing and more.

These projects, approved by the OU Board of Regents during its March meeting, will improve the university’s physical infrastructure while ensuring OU can continue to provide a life-changing education and world-class learning environment.

“These strategic renovations underscore our unwavering commitment to providing the OU community with state-of-the-art facilities that enhance its efforts to positively impact the world,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Investing in modern infrastructure not only fosters academic excellence but also cultivates an environment where innovation and collaboration can thrive.”

OU is building upon its expertise and industry-leading research in weather and radar by constructing an innovative weather research and radar advanced manufacturing facility on OU’s Norman campus. The facility will provide space to support the university’s rapidly growing portfolio of defense-related sponsored research projects while promoting collaboration among university, government and industry personnel in both radar and weather disciplines.

Improvements at the National Weather Center will allow for growth and a strengthened focus on various university and government programs throughout the building. The renovation project includes interior restorations and modifications of multiple departments, programs and divisions. The renovation will receive funding from the university, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and lease agreements.

Renovations at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, will include more than 3,300 square feet of patient blood draw, office and lab space in the pharmacokinetics lab. The project will help to improve patient flow while expanding the lab to meet the growing demand for infusion services in both standard-of-care and clinical trials. The university is also finalizing plans to initiate upgrades to its biomedical sciences building, including renovating approximately 20,000 square feet of lab space to enhance OU’s cancer research capabilities.

“Improving and maintaining our physical infrastructure is imperative in ensuring the University of Oklahoma provides the level of education, research and health care that is transformative for Oklahoma,” said OU Vice President for Campus Operations Brian Holderread. “These projects signify our pledge to provide top-quality resources that empower our community to push boundaries, spark innovation and shape a brighter future for all.”

To better serve its growing student population, the university will soon begin renovating the Student Success Center and lobby in the OU College of Nursing building. The renovation project includes improvements to restrooms, lobby finishes and the existing student affairs area.

Also approved during the meeting was the annual revision of the Campus Master Plan of Capital Improvement Projects, which highlights current infrastructure needs for each of OU’s three campuses.

Added to the Campus Master Plan of Capital Improvement Projects was the College of Engineering Master Plan, which will address space needs and review possible development of its existing buildings. Regents authorized the hiring of an architectural consultant to assist the university in master planning for the project. The goal is to optimize the Gallogly College of Engineering space while enhancing the educational experience for members of the college. 

The Campus Master Plan also includes construction aimed at enhancing the student experience, such as the building of a dedicated e-sports facility, including an approximately 5,000 square foot renovation within existing space at the Cross Village residential complex to house OU’s growing e-sports program, which received the “Global Collegiate Esports Program of The Year” from the Scholars Awards in 2023.

OU also continues to make progress on phase one of its First-Year Housing Master Plan, with the first new residence hall set to open in fall 2025, the renovation and expansion of Jacobson Hall and the construction of two new hangars at Max Westheimer Airport.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.


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