july 16, 2003

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Alumni head landscaping project at SWOSU

Visitors to the Southwestern Oklahoma State University campus during the next few years are going to notice several scenic changes around various buildings.

Thanks to the SWOSU Alumni Association, a landscaping project is underway on the Weatherford campus. The association is spearheading an effort to update landscaping around several areas on campus. The effort ends up being very timely since Oklahoma universities are facing cuts in state appropriations.

Harold Wright, president of the SWOSU Alumni Association, said the first project is already underway at the Administration Building and future areas of improvement include surrounding areas of the Old Science Building, the Student Union south lawn, Al Harris Library, Education Building, Campbell Building, Chemistry/Pharmacy/Physics Building and the residence halls.
Edmond's Linda Jones, who is chair of the landscaping committee, said the alumni association's board of directors approved a five-year beautification program to enhance the university's grounds.

Jones said the landscaping will be done in existing flowerbeds and will be long-lasting, low maintenance and green throughout the year with peak enhancement during the fall and spring semesters while most of the students are on campus. As it is now, the flowerbeds look the best during the summer months when the majority of students are not on campus.

All landscaping plans and decisions will be made by the alumni association landscaping committee and consultants Tom Fagan, Rick Skinner, Paul Meyer and Steve Bieberich to ensure uniformity throughout the campus and the highest quality of landscaping. The board of directors approved $7,000 for the inaugural year of the plan but will review the amount annually at the spring board meeting of the directors.

Phase one of the project around the Administration Building has already been completed with the establishment of larger items such as evergreen and pine trees and Russian Laurels. The flowerbeds are already planted right now, but new bedding plants will be added in November.

Jones said the committee is also looking at an effort to involve student and civic organizations. The board will be willing to match monies from organizations that would like to contribute to a certain project. The board is also looking to establish a tree/bench/brick program that will help on various projects around the SWOSU campus. Details and other information will be announced at a later time.

SWOSU President John Hays said the university is very appreciative of the alumni association for its efforts on these ongoing and upcoming projects.

Story contact: Brian Adler, 580.774.3063