September 3, 2008
If the northwest corner of Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s campus could talk, it more than likely could share a number of stories about events and activities that have taken place there through the years.
On Tuesday, members of the campus and local community can witness one event in person as university and city officials dedicate the Green Space that was created following the demolition of Oklahoma Hall.
Everyone is welcome to gather at 5 p.m. at the Green Space area, which is at the corner of Eighth Street and Oklahoma Boulevard. Alva Mayor Arden Chaffee will join Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president, in sharing a few remarks about the area. Dr. Sandra Petree, associate professor of English, has written a special poem to commemorate the event. It will be read during the ceremony as well.
Community members are welcome to park in the lot directly south of the Green Space area.
Light refreshments will be served courtesy of the Northwestern Libraries staff.
The current Green Space area was once home to the university’s tennis courts, which in 1961 were replaced by a residence hall for women that would become known as Oklahoma Hall. At that time, the building cost $500,000 to construct. It housed 180 women in 90 air-conditioned rooms.
In 1985, university officials learned that the building contained asbestos. The removal cost at that time was deemed prohibitive, so the building was vacated. The last students to stay in the dormitory did so during the summer of 1986.
During the summer of 1998, the university had the asbestos removed, making the building safe to begin using as a storage facility.
For a few years, the building even served the Student Government Association as its location for a haunted house. The last “Night of Fright” in that building was in October 2005.
Other suggestions for the building were discussed many times, but remodeling costs were prohibitive, and it was determined the building would just be removed. That process began Dec. 17, 2005, and would continue over the next few months.
Today’s Green Space area is what has become of the location. A sprinkler system was installed, and a walking path is located in the center of the area. Funds from a grant provided by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation were used to purchase trees and shrubs, and flowers were planted.
Two of the trees along the path are sawtooth oak trees in the southeast corner of the Green Space and were donated by Larry Thorne and his mother, Helen Louise Thorne, in memory of Larry’s wife Shirley, who was a librarian at Northwestern for more than 28 years, retiring in 1991, and Larry’s sister, Kay Lott, who served on the Northwestern Foundation Board of Trustees from 1993 through 1999. Both also were Northwestern graduates.
These trees, along with many of the trees all over campus, have identifying markers to provide individuals with an interesting walk around the campus.
Also in the space is a black granite monument to memorialize the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The senior class of 2006 raised funds for the monument that was created by Alva Monuments, Inc. Buddy Sams, owner of the monument business, also is donating four black granite benches to be placed next to the monument.
Posted on Wed, September 3, 2008
by Valarie Case