ONEOK provides grant to help RSU maintain service during power outages
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
ONEOK, Inc. recently issued a $135,000 grant to Rogers State University for the purchase of a natural gas generator to be place in the new RSU Dining Hall, currently under construction. RSU students, staff and alumni recognized the gift Wednesday morning while overlooking the construction site.
WIth support from ONEOK, RSU will purchase the generator, which will provide a source for emergency backup power in the event of inclement weather or power outages. The generator has the capacity to maintain essential power, heat/air and light operation for the building’s basement shelter, as well as, power the dining hall’s food preparation and storage systems.
“Earlier this year we saw firsthand the devastation that severe storms can cause, and the challenges that arise when electricity is lost in homes, businesses and schools,” said ONEOK President Terry K. Spencer. “This contribution will help provide the essential power and peace of mind a university needs during weather-related emergencies.”
RSU President Dr. Larry Rice said the gift from ONEOK will help provide for the safety and comfort of RSU students.
“We are immensely thankful to ONEOK and its leadership for their investment in RSU, which will allow us to better serve and protect our current students while also providing for future expansion of on-campus housing,” said Rice.
The 17,300 square-foot, two story dining hall will include kitchen facilities, an open dining space with capacity to serve up to 1,000 students and a basement/storm shelter. The $5 million facility is set to open for the fall 2014 semester.
“The student dining hall has been a priority for the university’s continued growth to meet the dining needs of our campus residents. With ONEOK’s support, we can better meet the growing demand from prospective students who are turning to RSU for the close knit, residential campus experience,” said Rice.
RSU is currently in the planning stages for construction of a new University Village C to be located adjacent to the student dining hall, across from UV B.
The campus is needing to expand its residential housing in order to meet student growth demand. At the beginning of the year, the university had a waiting list of nearly 160 students who wanted or needed to live on campus, said Rice.
UV C will house about 20 percent of the students living on campus, and will include close to 315 beds.