New police headquarters, repurposed pool area top 2020 college goals

MONICA HERNANDEZ,  Pioneer Student Writer

Oklahoma City Community College is looking to expand the availability of online and hybrid courses, finalize plans to repurpose the aquatics center by June 2020, and open a new Campus Police Headquarters, according to its recently released 2020 Fiscal Year plan. 

 The new campus police headquarters, which will include a new Crisis Response Center and call center, is expected to open for use at the start of the fall semester. Construction was completed June 28. 

 OCCC said the new site will better secure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors, according to the plan. 

 Until Fall, the police center will continue to be housed in Room 1K8 of the Main Building, across from the Coffee Shop.

 Aside from increasing space for police business, the college looks to increase graduation rates through the expansion of online and hybrid classes, according to the plan. 

Hybrid courses are ones in which students go to class on campus one day per week and do coursework online at least one other day per week.

Typically our students are non-traditional. they are … adult learners who typically work, [and] have family obligations,” Director of TRiO Grant Programs Lathonya Shivers said. 

“Online classes and hybrid classes give those students, in particular, a little more flexibility… they have to structure their time in order to take classes,” she said. 

“Having more classes in a format that suits them, I think, ultimately will help.”    

Likewise, the college also intends to increase the number of degrees and certificates available to students. OCCC offers 64 programs according to the OCCC online program list.  At the time, then OCCC President Paul Sechrist said there were too many expenses to keep the college pool open.

While it is not known what the aquatics center will be repurposed for, some students have their own desires for the space. 

“I’d like to see it used as a place for more TekSpot expansion, or even as an artsy hangout place for students,” Kevin Nguyen, physical therapy assistant student said.  

“It would be neat to see it turned into a larger food court with more name brand options. Like what you see at universities” Shane Presley, respiratory care therapist student said. 

In 2018, the college adopted a plan to repurpose the Aquatics Center for other means, wishing to allocate the space for OCCC’s Professional Development Institute and the Honda Professional Automotive Career Training program, according to the Journal Record.  

The proposal initially was billed at 8.5 million but soon more than doubled in projected costs, causing the proposal to be rejected and the facility to sit unused for a fourth year.

The college is expected to make its determination about what to do with the aquatics center by the end of June 2020. 

 Until then, the school may continue to house unused office furniture and computer equipment in it.

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