Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Campus History : Maintenance Building
Built late in the second decade of the twentieth century, the Maintenance Building was originally known as the Engineering Building. Courses in manual arts (industrial arts), including blacksmithing, metal work, woodworking, electricity, and mechanical drawing, were taught here. By 1922, Panhandle Agricultural Institute (PAI) student enrollment had outgrown the confines of the building. The State of Oklahoma High School Inspector wrote in his yearly report that “There is hardly room to turn around. The building should have an additional story.” Therefore, PAI President Albert Fanning requested money from the State Board of Agriculture to add space to the building before the beginning of the 1923 fall term.
By 1924, the building boasted eight double workbenches, a plethora of hand tools, and new cabinet making equipment worth $1,500. Six years later, the building had gained a new workshop, a forge, a foundry, additional classroom and office space, a tool room, and a finishing room. Additional renovations came the same year when dressing rooms for PAI sports teams and visiting sports teams were added. Lockers were installed, and each dressing room had four showers and eight wash bowls with heated water for all. For the 1939-1940 academic year, fifteen male students lived in apartments on the second floor. During World War II, families of men working locally for construction or oil companies like Sinclair and Phillips rented and lived in those apartments.
Carter Hall replaced the Engineering Building as the location of industrial arts instruction in 1967. Since that time, the building, known as the Maintenance Building, has been the domain of the campus maintenance and housekeeping crews.
- Sara Jane Richter, 2009