Altus_Buildings are popping up faster than the eye can see at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus. Workers have built walls for a new $4.5 million, 30,000 square foot, high-tech educational institute, and have broken ground on a new student center. Students have had a direct impact on what they would like to see inside the new center - games, internet access, and televisions. The building is expected to cost about $700,000, and they say it's worth every penny.
Student Senate President Colin Lowe wanted direct input from students because they will be using the new facility. "We took a poll to find out what people wanted to see," he said. He says students wanted a modern, dimly-lit, Applebee's sort of setting. "The big thing was pool tables - ping-pong came in at a close second," he said.
Dean of Student Services Phil Birdine says the center is something the college and students there have been missing. He says students will be more likely to use the facility if they hae input on what's inside. "They know better than we do as administrators what they want," he said. "We want them to take a vested interest in it."
Lowe says he expects that students will study in the new center, but that students also are looking for a place they can lounge. "We threw in the big screen TVs and the couches in there - that was a big plus." The center plans to have six televisions, four sofas, 30 stools, and internet access. Officials at the college say that the next phase for the student center will be to lay the foundation. It's expected to be complete in June, 2009.