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UCO Celebrates CHK|Central Boathouse Construction with 'Beam Signing' Event

UCO President Don Betz, First Lady Suzanne Betz and RUSO Regent Richard Ogden sign a beam that will be used in the construction of the CHK|Central Boathouse during a ceremony to celebrate the construction of the boathouse on Thursday, March 27, at the Oklahoma River.

March 28, 2014

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121, lhouts@uco.edu

UCO CELEBRATES CHK|CENTRAL BOATHOUSE CONSTRUCTION WITH ‘BEAM SIGNING’ EVENT 

The University of Central Oklahoma celebrated the on going construction of the CHK|Central Boathouse on the Oklahoma River with a “beam signing” and reception on Thursday.

Attendees signed a beam that will be used in the construction of the boathouse, providing a unique opportunity to be a permanent part of the newest presence on the thriving Oklahoma River.

The event served as a symbolic groundbreaking after the originally scheduled event in December was postponed due to inclement weather.

UCO President Don Betz called the construction of the CHK|Central Boathouse the next step in a fulfillment of a dream and a demonstration of the power of common vision, collaboration and generosity.  

“This is a very special day for us,” Betz said. “Rising just to the north of us is this amazing phenomenon that’s called the metropolitan area – Oklahoma City. Now, 1.6 million people are looking to its future. I cannot tell you how proud and excited we are to be part of that story.”

The construction comes after a successful fundraising campaign that includes support from partners like Chesapeake Energy, MidFirst Bank, Martha Burger, C. Hubert Gragg, the Dobson Family Foundation and Ted Honea.

Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation Executive Director Mike Knopp called UCO’s presence on the river “a dream come true.”

Knopp cited the Oklahoma River and UCO’s designations as official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training sites as impetuses for the dream – now a reality – of UCO’s boathouse.

“It represents a true spirit of collaboration that began long ago, and now it’s coming to fruition in this incredible project,” Knopp said.

The CHK|Central Boathouse will serve as home to the Central Women’s Rowing team, and will include a live music venue and an art gallery, establishing it as a unique presence “where art meets the river” in the growing Boathouse District. Construction is expected to be complete in March 2015.

Former UCO President Roger Webb, Rep. Randy Grau, Oklahoma City Councilmen David Greenwell and John Pettis, Jr., State Regent Ann Holloway, Regional University System (RUSO) Regents Richard Ogden, Connie Reilly and Susan Winchester, members of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and the UCO women’s rowing team were on hand for the celebration.

For more information on supporting the CHK|Central Boathouse and other university initiatives, contact the UCO Foundation at 405-974-2770 or visit www.ucogiving.org. 


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Editor’s Note: To download art associated with this release, visit www.uco.edu/photo/CHKCentralBoathouse03.14. To download conceptual images of the boathouse, visit: www.uco.edu/photo/BoathouseRenderings03.14.

Cutline 1: UCO President Don Betz, First Lady Suzanne Betz and RUSO Regent Richard Ogden sign a beam that will be used in the construction of the CHK|Central Boathouse during a ceremony to celebrate the construction of the boathouse on Thursday, March 27, at the Oklahoma River.

Cutline 2: Members of UCO’s women’s rowing team sign a beam that will be used in the construction of the CHK|Central Boathouse during a ceremony to celebrate the construction of the boathouse on Thursday, March 27, at the Oklahoma River.