Eagle Trail, a 3.1-mile fitness course that winds through Oklahoma Christian University’s 200 plus-acre campus, is taking flight.
OC spokesman Wes McKinzie said Eagle Trail is another way the university is promoting fitness on campus while connecting OC with the surrounding community.
The trail will run parallel to Memorial Road on the south edge of the campus, Benson Road on the east edge and Smiling Hill Boulevard on the north edge. It will provide views of OC landmarks including Enterprise Square, the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies, University House and university athletic fields.
When the trail is completed, the side-by-side asphalt and crushed granite paths will span a distance of 3.1 miles around the campus and feature lighting, landscaping and security phones.
“I’m proud of our entire team — from admissions to the graduate school, from international programs to all the faculty and staff who make students feel at home here,” Executive Vice President Bill Goad said.
This fall, OC enrolled 2,271 students, the most in the school’s 63-year history.
The trail connects with the growing Edmond trails system and will eventually connect with the Oklahoma City trails system. A $605,000 grant by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation was matched by private donors to fund the project.
Greg and Valari (Boker) Wedel provided the lead gift in honor of their parents. Greg is a member of OC’s Board of Trustees and Valari is a 1982 OC alumna.
Other construction activity on the campus includes work on a new softball stadium that will be ready for use for the 2013 season.
In July, the university had a groundbreaking ceremony which honored Ricky and Kelly Lawson, who provided the seven-figure anchor gift for the stadium project. Thursday afternoon, landscape crews were excavating the site.
The stadium will be named “Tom Heath Field at Lawson Plaza” in honor of Heath, who has served as the only head coach in OC softball history. Home plate will be 130 feet to the northeast of the current stadium’s home plate. The artificial turf playing surface should be installed this fall.
Ricky Lawson is a 1992 OC alumnus. Ricky and Kelly became interested in the OC softball team after their friend Kent Allen, OC’s vice president for advancement, suggested they attend a game. Ricky Lawson said he knew Heath had served as OC’s intramural director when Lawson was a student.
When completed, the new stadium will include locker rooms, coaches’ offices, training rooms, meeting rooms, a players’ lounge, permanent restrooms, a press box, permanent seating, an indoor training facility and a 34-vehicle parking lot. It also will include a bullpen and batting cages for both home and visiting teams.
It will replace Lady Eagle Field, which has been in use since OC started its softball program in 1995.
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