Put your back into it! From left, Dasha Guymon, Joe Hall, Roy Smothermon, Dave Bryant, Jess Nelson, Gus Blackwell, Harold Kachel, Troy Morris, Maxine Woodward, Kenneth Woodward, Sam Nelson and Aaron Preator help get construction underway. -Trey Scales photo
**For Immediate Release**
Ceremony Proclaims New Era
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 10-27-2006
By Laura Dahl
Goodwell, Okla. - Saturday, October 14, marked an historic day on the campus of Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Groundbreaking for the first new academic building on campus in 37 years was celebrated on the building site, right in the center of campus.
The ceremonial groundbreaking marked the beginning of a new era at OPSU. The new facility will incorporate two laboratories that will be used to enhance student research and education as well as provide service to the community. The Water Quality Testing lab will benefit local municipalities, school districts, the agricultural sector and other entities that require water testing on a regular basis. The Chemistry/Feed Analysis lab will provide service to the agricultural sector. Because Texas County produces more beef and pork than any other county in Oklahoma, the lab will furnish a convenient, essential service to area producers.
Several dignitaries took part in the short ceremony, and Joe Hall, Chairman of the A&M Board of Regents, praised OPSU President Dave Bryant for his leadership. Other speakers included Representative Gus Blackwell; Dr. Kenneth Woodward, President of the Panhandle State Foundation; Troy Morris, President of the Panhandle Association of Alumni and Friends; Sam Nelson, Mayor of Goodwell; Mr. Wiley Hicks III of Wiley Hicks Jr. Inc., construction manager of the new facility; and Roy Smothermon of Tri-County Electric. Others on hand to celebrate were Troy White, Aide to Congressman Frank Lucas; Jimmie Draper, Building Committee member and Guymon Ambassador of the Year; Dasha Guymon, Student Body President; Corey Quebedeaux, Student Senate President; Jess Nelson, Guymon Citizen of the Year; Dr. Justin Collins, Dean of Science, Mathematics and Nursing; Dr. Peter Camfield, Dean of Agriculture; and Dr. Harold Kachel, Historian of the No Man’s Land Historical Society.
Construction of the 30,000 square foot, two-story building is made possible by the $500 million bond issue passed by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2005 that targeted infrastructure improvements on college campuses statewide. OPSU’s share, $6.53 million, will be boosted by fundraising efforts including matching funds for the $500,000 Noble Foundation Challenge Grant. Site work is set to begin in December, and completion is scheduled for July 2008 in time for use in the fall 2008 semesters and the OPSU Centennial Celebration in 2009.