Leoser Complex undergoes face-lift and renovations
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Leoser Complex undergoes face-lift and renovations

Published 10/2/17

Trenton Morgan

TNE Writer

The Leoser Complex dates back to the 1960s. With Leoser capable of housing 740 students, Housing and Residence Life has a busy schedule fixing and updating to keep on-campus students comfortable and accommodated. The building was under construction throughout summer 2017 and residents returned to new looks and new systems.

In the summer of 2016, Leoser received a mechanical update involving the boiler, heating, cooling and water systems. This past summer was a continuation of last. New projects included: replacing heating ventilation air conditioning units in multiple parts of the building; replacing the original roof of the entire complex; updating the north and south lobby areas, as well as the connecting hallway; painting and paneling of the center of Leoser, the north entrance and the south entrance exteriors; reconfiguring the entire building’s internet accessibility; and removing sinks from rooms and adding them elsewhere.

“We basically assessed the building, figured out what the needs were and started the design,” said Zach Henley, project manager. “So basically, what we do is we are a steward of state money, which is tax money. We make sure that that money is spent correctly, and we make sure that what we’re paying the contractor for is what’s actually being delivered and installed to the university. We spent about $2.7 million for all projects combined. This specific money that we spent was bond money. It’s essentially a big loan that we will pay back over the course of X amount of years; I think 20 or 30 years.”

Henley said the bond money used this past summer was part of a projection made a few years ago and approved by the Regional University System of Oklahoma, their governing board. The bond money was included in the housing package that covered plans for construction and renovations of Cobb Hall, Wyly Hall and Leoser Hall. The original housing package was $15 million total, and Leoser will likely have updates for many years to come.

“I think in the past, there has been a mode where we kind of fix it, but don’t completely fix it,” said Craig Reinehr, director of Housing and Residence Life. “We are not in that mode anymore. The doors need painted, absolutely, and a lot of the rooms do; the wings, the carpet needs to be redone and things like that. We know that, and that’s kind of the next phase, but it does no good to replace the carpet and things like that if nothing else works. We have to kind of balance the infrastructure to some of the wow factor in the aesthetics.” 

Reinehr said that the budget for renovations is carefully planned so the changes made are cost-effective, significant and mindful of future possibilities. Although some residents may be confused with the changes made and with the order they were made in, they were made with the longevity of the building in mind. For students, the biggest thing is to tell housing staff of frustrations. Students live in the halls; therefore, the best way to know of issues is by students saying something.

“Since the people in my hall are all freshmen, they have nothing to compare it to,” said Katherine Williams, student hall director of South Leoser. “The resident assistants, however, think all the renovations make it look a lot nicer. New carpet, paint and signs have made the place look very new, refreshing and modern. Students are able to talk freely to their RAs about any concerns they may have. If they aren’t comfortable talking to their RAs, they are welcome to talk to anyone who works in housing.”

For more information, visit the Housing and Residence Life Office in Leoser or call 918-444-4700.


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