The Edmond Sun

Local News

September 10, 2013

Campus housing busting at seams at OC

University begins converting Tealridge to student housing

EDMOND — Student population at Oklahoma Christian University has increased by 6.7 percent this year with fall enrollment at 2,424 students, officials announced Tuesday.

That continues a trend of increased enrollment at the private Edmond university that prides itself on providing a full residential college experience. Risa Forrester, OC vice president of admissions and marketing, said the university takes to heart the catchphrase that “OC is home.”

To prove it, there are 1,686 students living on campus, which is significantly more than half the university’s total enrollment. Even though the university spent $34 million in 2005-06 to add a new residence hall called University House plus phases 5 and 6 to the University Village apartments, the need for more on-campus housing continues, Forrester said.

The university recently announced the unusual step of moving college students into its on-campus independent living facility, Tealridge Retirement Community, 2100 N.E. 140th St. The six-story structure was created on the east side of campus in 1990 to serve the needs of a growing senior citizen population with ties to the university and the Church of Christ. It also has taken enrollment from the general public.

OC president John deSteiguer stated in a press release that it is not anticipated that current Tealridge residents will be asked to move.

“This transition will happen in a slow and considerate manner to minimize inconvenience to the current residents. We envision a gradual and natural transition that will take place over several years,” deSteiguer said. “We have received positive feedback about the intergenerational interactions our student residents and senior residents have enjoyed the past few months. We know our students benefit by conversing with the fine Christian residents at Tealridge.”

About 30 married student couples moved into the facility this summer, which has 167 apartment units. Forrester said the university anticipates the Tealridge facility will continue to serve mostly married students in the future.

Most of these students were moved out of Phase 2 apartments on campus, which the university plans to raze.

“This gives us flexibility in the short-term,” Forrester said as the university grapples with how to maintain its on-campus experience, which it sees as integral to the value it provides students.

Forrester notes that the change in business model has not been without some anxiety.

“We are sensitive to and saddened by the anxiety it’s causing for some of our residents,” she said.

Services will continue to be offered to senior residents — who range in age from 70 to 97. Staffing levels are expected to be maintained throughout the transition. Those who have contracts to move in will have their contracts honored.

“We’re going to take care of (residents) and we’re looking forward to keeping those promises,” Forrester said.

A core belief of President deSteiguer is to keep student costs as stable as possible. The university for the second year has not raised tuition. Forrester said the university looked carefully at its options before deciding to change the core business model at Tealridge. Ultimately, officials decided they did not want to saddle the university with more debt at this time, which most likely would have forced an increase in tuition rates.

“(The administration is) very sensitive to student affordability. We have weathered this recession pretty well,” she said. “We also understand that the market has changed — probably forever in regard to student debt.”

As deSteiguer and Forrester talked with students about their new housing experience, they were stunned by some of the reaction.

“The question we received the most when we went to talk with them was ‘Hey, we really like it here. You’re not going to make us move are you?’” she said. “We really didn’t know what to expect or how it would go.”

The wife of one student told Forrester that some of her new best friends are 85.

“We want to assure our senior residents that they have a place to remain,” Forrester said.

And Oklahoma Christian believes the unusual intergenerational housing arrangement will buy it some time as it considers next steps for future on-campus housing.

“We are committed to offering our students a residential experience aimed at building their faith and a stronger campus community,” deSteiguer said. “At a time when the costs of college and student debt are in the headlines, we are focused on delivering a high-quality Christian education at an affordable price rather than undertaking a major building project that could require large tuition increases to finance. This transition allows us to accommodate our growing enrollment in a way that honors Tealridge residents and benefits our students and their families.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Debate Senate hopefuls meet in first debate

     Accountability to the American people and the $17.5 trillion debt continues to be a major issue in the race for U.S. Senate office being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate Wednesday for three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

  • oil infographic[1].png Easy on the coconut oil

    These days, it seems like coconut oil is soaking up credit for its positive affect on a wide range of health conditions. But, still developing science around the popular oil tells a little different story.
    “We know all saturated fats are not created equally, but there’s no evidence that coconut oil is better or healthier than other vegetable oils,” said Janice Hermann, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Easter 4e.JPG Moms Club finds Easter fun at Fountains at Canterbury

    The Fountains at Canterbury hosted members of the Moms Club of Edmond-West Tuesday morning for a Easter egg hunt and party complete with a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Residents at the Fountains at Canterbury hid several dozen eggs filled with prizes and candy for the children. The Moms Club of Edmond-West is a nonprofit, local chapter of stay-at-home moms who aim to support each other during the day.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • psc 1.jpg City likely to borrow less for PSC due to sky-high tax revenue

    During his State of the City Address Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb made a political announcement — he’s planning on running again for the office.
    Lamb made the comments in the question-and-answer session of his presentation during an Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Rose Creek Golf Course, 17031 N. May Ave.
    Mayor pro tem from 2005-2011, Lamb was elected mayor last year. His long record of service in Edmond includes serving on the City Council from 1993 to 2011.
    The question about if he will run again came from the audience. Lamb alluded to his desire to be around when the Public Safety Center is finished, which will be in the fall of 2015; the next mayoral election will be in the spring of 2015.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergic asthma sufferers should take some precautions when exercising

    Spring has sprung, and in addition to welcoming the beauty and warmth of the season, many folks welcome — though maybe not with eager anticipation — seasonal allergies.
    And for some, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. More than 50 percent of the 20 million Americans with asthma have allergic asthma, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Over 2.5 million children under age 18 suffer from allergic asthma.

    April 15, 2014

  • Dr. Fielding’s variance denied by close vote

    Reverse-angle parking will continue at the 13 N. University Drive office of Dr. Brad Fielding. The Edmond City Council rejected a variance request by the local optometrist to end the city’s pilot project in front of his medical facility.
    Councilman Nick Massey and Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance request that was dismissed in a 3-2 vote.
    Four parking lines were striped late last year at Fielding’s business after the city opened new bicycle lanes along University. The city cites the safety for bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic as the main reasons for introducing reverse-angle parking.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results