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UCO Celebrates Reopening of Historic Old North with Public Open House

The University of Central Oklahoma will host a public opening of Old North, the oldest building on the University of Central Oklahoma campus and the first building dedicated to higher learning in Oklahoma, from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in front of the historic building, on the west side of Central’s campus. Docents will be available on each floor to answer questions, and cookies and refreshments will be available.

Feb. 17, 2017

Media Contact: Sarah Neese, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2121, sneese@uco.edu

UCO CELEBRATES REOPENING OF HISTORIC OLD NORTH WITH PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE

Nearly 16 years after closing, Old North, the oldest building on the University of Central Oklahoma campus and the first building dedicated to higher learning in Oklahoma, is once again filled with eager students and engaged professors.           

UCO will host a public open house for Old North from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. Docents will be available on each floor to answer questions, and cookies and refreshments will be available.      

“Old North is an important part of Central’s history, and we are thrilled to open its doors once again,” said UCO President Don Betz.           

“The opportunity to connect with an instrumental part of Oklahoma’s higher education system is a privilege, and we are fortunate to be able to share that connection with the surrounding community.”           

The construction of Old North began in 1891 with Gail Whitely, the architect who designed the building. Students first attended classes in the building in January of 1893, with construction on the wings and tower of the building completed in 1894. More than a century later, in 2001, Old North was closed for much-needed renovations.           

Restoration and renovations spanned three phases. The first phase targeted an exterior restoration, while the second phase focused on the construction of a 17,000-square-foot addition to the building. The third phase resolved structural and interior problems, as well as incorporated new designs and elements to the structure’s interior. CMS Willowbrook served as construction manager on the project, and Miles Associates as the architect.           

The total cost for the restoration and renovation totaled $14.4 million, with nearly $6 million in private donations raised for the final phase of Old North’s completion. The building, which now includes approximately 44,000 square feet, serves as office, classroom and gathering space for students, faculty and staff across campus. Old North also houses UCO’s Office of the President, Office of Public Affairs and Office of Student Affairs.           

“As Central begins it 127th year as an institution of higher education, the opening of Old North symbolizes our efforts to remain a steadfast and vital part of the growth, development and success of our state,” Betz added.           

With strong connections throughout the Oklahoma City metro, the University of Central Oklahoma is dedicated to developing in students the confidence to succeed through transformative learning experiences. Founded in 1890, Central connects its more than 17,000 students to unmatched value found in 117 undergraduate areas of study and 70 graduate programs from its main campus in Edmond and facilities throughout the metro area. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.           

For more information about how to connect to Central, visit www.uco.edu.

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Editor’s Note: Download art associated with this release at www.media.uco.edu/press/OldNorthOpening02.17.

Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma will host a public opening of Old North, the oldest building on the University of Central Oklahoma campus and the first building dedicated to higher learning in Oklahoma, from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in front of the historic building, on the west side of Central’s campus. Docents will be available on each floor to answer questions, and cookies and refreshments will be available.