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University Expands Housing

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Rogers State University begins construction of a new student apartment community this month, doubling the number of students living on its Claremore campus.

A groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 31, at the site of the new apartments on the northwest side of the campus.

The $11.5 million project will accommodate up to 255 students in a three-level facility and will feature a clubhouse, located across the street from the present university apartments.

"This project will allow us to enhance the traditional, residential environment on the Claremore campus," said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. "Additional housing has been one of the university's greatest needs."

During the last several semesters, a waiting list has existed for the current apartments, which opened in 2001. That complex accommodates 248 students in four adjoining buildings and features recreation and meeting rooms, a swimming pool and sand volleyball court.

The new apartments will be configured in a slightly different manner than the present complex, said Tom Volturo, RSU executive vice president for administration and finance.

The new 92,991-square-foot complex will be located just west of Soldier Field, with a main entrance on Colonel Horne Drive.

The main building will feature one, two and four-bedroom apartments, all with interior entrances linked by corridors. Each floor will feature commons areas, a recreation area and meeting rooms for residents. The building will contain 99 two-bedroom units of 473 square feet, featuring a living area, kitchenette and bathroom; 12 four-bedroom units of 1,148 square feet, with a living room, kitchen and two bathrooms; and nine one-bedroom units of 361 square feet, with a living room, kitchenette and bathroom. A laundry facility will be located on the first floor.

The single-story, 5,971-square-foot clubhouse will feature a large conference room, which can be divided into three smaller conference rooms, and a theater room with a large-screen television. The clubhouse also will contain a coffee bar, commons areas and staff offices.

The exterior of the buildings will be covered with red brick, similar to the existing student apartments and other buildings on the main campus.

Construction is expected to be completed and occupancy should be available by next August, in time for the fall 2011 semester, Volturo said.

The design and construction team selected to develop the project is Key Construction of Tulsa, following a competitive bidding process.

"Key Construction is proud to have been selected for this project," said Tim Sortore, vice president of operations. "We will provide complete turn-key service, handling every phase of the project, including architecture, design, site preparation and construction."

The design team includes KSQ Architects, Cyntergy AEC and Martin Engineering Design, all of Tulsa.

A second phase of apartments, with capacity for another 250 students, could begin in the next few years, depending upon demand and available financing, Volturo added. Those apartments would be built just west of the new planned facility.

RSU also operates an 18-unit family housing facility, accommodating students and their families in Ledbetter Hall on the Claremore campus.

Funding for the new student apartments will be provided by the issuance of bonds through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Master Lease for Real Property Program, and institutional funds. The bonds will be retired with revenue generated by the apartments, including rental income.

Students and prospective students may add their names to a waiting list for the new apartments beginning in October by calling the RSU Office of Residential Life at (918) 343-7789.

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