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Thread: can edmond become a true college town?

  1. #1

    Default can edmond become a true college town?

    dont know if you people been paying attention but uco is growing almost to 17,000 students, with that kind of growth can uco shred its "commuter school" reputation? can edmond/uco co exist to make the campus something similiar to an ou or osu to draw in a better college atmosphere. there is no secret that uco has no campus corner or bars right along campus, major sports teams, or a greek row that give both ou and osu a wow factor when kids visit their campus. Does uco have a chance with its continued growth to have that wow factor, or will it always be the "commuter school"

  2. #2

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwash View Post
    dont know if you people been paying attention but uco is growing almost to 17,000 students, with that kind of growth can uco shred its "commuter school" reputation? can edmond/uco co exist to make the campus something similiar to an ou or osu to draw in a better college atmosphere. there is no secret that uco has no campus corner or bars right along campus, major sports teams, or a greek row that give both ou and osu a wow factor when kids visit their campus. Does uco have a chance with its continued growth to have that wow factor, or will it always be the "commuter school"
    a light rail connecting the campus to bricktown would be a nice touch to make up for the lack of pubs

  3. #3

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Well, UCO has been working hard to upgrade its faculty to put in place the pieces it needs to become another research school. Add that, a few doctoral programs, maybe an engineering school, then UCO can start to upgrade its image. I'm afraid the onus is going to be on alums to start donating big bucks and for the state Board of Regents to give UCO more degree programs.

    I do think UCO is probably a better place to get most undergrad degrees than either OU or OSU. Smaller class sizes, virtually no classes taught by graduate assistants, etc., combine to make it a better undergrad experience. Post-grad programs need a MAJOR upgrade though.

  4. #4

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    No, Norman isn't a "college town" anymore and was starting to shed that image even when I was going to OU in the early 80's and I just laugh when people claim that Austin is a college town, they are just cities with colleges in them. They are just too close to a major city to really have a "college town" vibe to it. The downtown area seems to be the perfect location for a Campus Corner or The Strip type of district but I also think the City of Edmond has resisted effects to create a more student oriented/friendly district. It seems they want to keep it a commuter school at times.

    I always felt the "commuter school" label was a slight against a school that was better than that moniker. It has tremendous potential to become a top tier school in the state. I do know that UCO has added much in the way of on-campus living options from the time that I took some classes there and my sister graduated from there (1998).

  5. #5

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    UCO still feels like a commuter school to me. I know they have added on, but do they really have any on-campus housing compared to OU or OSU? I don't know for certain, but it seems that in comparison, there is hardly any, which would still put it in the commuter category.

  6. #6

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    They've added several new on campus housing options since you were last there. No residential towers yet, but I think those are falling out of favor anyhow. I don't think it's primarily a commuter school anymore though.

  7. #7

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    No residential towers yet
    Does Central Plaza (the former Ramada Hotel turned student housing) not count?

  8. #8

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Schools don't do towers anymore unless the surrounding property costs justify it, in Oklahoma this isn't the case. The apartment style dorms are what is being built now and there is a mix of private and university/private development of them. The largest developer of college housing is based here in Austin (American Campus Communities), they recently bought the college dorm arm of the company that we joint ventured with on the military family housing projects when I was at Benham.

  9. #9

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    They've added several new on campus housing options since you were last there. No residential towers yet, but I think those are falling out of favor anyhow. I don't think it's primarily a commuter school anymore though.
    I think in the last few years UCO has added some suites/apartments as well as the "Central Plaza" (or whatever they call the old Ramada)...but tore down one of the older traditional-style halls.

    Nobody builds "traditional" dorms anymore...most new dorms these days are either apartments or have private rooms and bathrooms (usually "apartment" style in some way or another). Usually they're really cheaply built wood-frame buildings designed to last no more than 20-30 years.

  10. #10

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    East Hall was torn down, but it was a dump. In a place like Edmond, when the school builds student housing, for the most part, it understands that it's in competition with local apartment complexes which offer a lot of amenities. While places like the Plaza, Murdaugh Hall (men) and West Hall (women) provide traditional tiny rooms with communal restroom facilities, the Commons and the University Suites offer amenities as good if not better than most of the apartments in town for a similar price.

    The reason for towers really isn't always going to be land price. It also has a bit to do with keeping the campus walkable as well. That's one thing I really liked about attending UCO -- never a problem getting from one end of the campus to the other in the 10 alloted minutes, even if I had to pack my violin and put up my chair and stand, I could make it to the other end of the campus at the Liberal Arts building with no problems.

    Also, UCO is running out of space to expand. If it has to expand past its current borders, it'll either have to buy up properties as they go on the market or use the power of eminent domain to acquire land -- very expensive land. So in the final analysis, it might someday be cheaper for UCO to go up than it is for it to build out. I think UCO could potentially build something someday if there was a demand and if it could use public-private partnerships to achieve its goals as it has in the past with on-campus housing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    Also, UCO is running out of space to expand. If it has to expand past its current borders, it'll either have to buy up properties as they go on the market or use the power of eminent domain to acquire land -- very expensive land. So in the final analysis, it might someday be cheaper for UCO to go up than it is for it to build out. I think UCO could potentially build something someday if there was a demand and if it could use public-private partnerships to achieve its goals as it has in the past with on-campus housing.

    I thought that there was some things up before the council awhile back to change zoning on some of the residential areas near UCO so that once the owners kicked off or moved, the houses could be used for other stuff...actually, now that I think about it, that may have been for Downtown growth as opposed to UCO.

  12. #12

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    UCO has some nice restaurants/bars along University Drive. Not to mention the Jazz Lab and Hideaway Pizza right around the corner.

  13. Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by krisb View Post
    UCO has some nice restaurants/bars along University Drive. Not to mention the Jazz Lab and Hideaway Pizza right around the corner.
    What, the one pizza place where Milano's used to be and another bookstore? What restaurants/bars are you talking about?

    And, for the record, I am a current student (grad) so I've made that walk/drive a few times this summer.
    Still corrupting young minds

  14. #14

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    I don't feel that UCO has the culture that helps make a college town. I'm an OSU fan, but didn't go to school there, but when I go into Stillwater, you can just feel the college town atmosphere. I assume the same is true in Norman. You just don't feel that with UCO and I'm not sure if it can be created.

  15. #15

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    The reason for towers really isn't always going to be land price. It also has a bit to do with keeping the campus walkable as well. That's one thing I really liked about attending UCO -- never a problem getting from one end of the campus to the other in the 10 alloted minutes, even if I had to pack my violin and put up my chair and stand, I could make it to the other end of the campus at the Liberal Arts building with no problems.
    No kidding! I'm a student at OSU and IMO the campus has gotten ridiculous as far as sprawl goes. There are some residence halls (one of which I lived at last year) where you have to walk nearly a mile to get to most academic buildings on campus. I wish they would either renovate the existing high-rise dorms or build new ones rather than build 3-4 story buildings that have to be located far away from the middle of campus.

  16. Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Edmond, a college town...rofl. I haven't had that good of a chuckle in a while. Whew.

  17. #17

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by hipsterdoofus View Post
    I thought that there was some things up before the council awhile back to change zoning on some of the residential areas near UCO so that once the owners kicked off or moved, the houses could be used for other stuff...actually, now that I think about it, that may have been for Downtown growth as opposed to UCO.
    I'm not aware of anything like this. In fact, they have their zoning set up in such a way that makes it VERY expensive for fraternities and sororities to build their houses. We have to either sleep only three to a house because Edmond zoning requires multifamily dwellings to comply with all sorts of fire code regulations or we have to go through with extensive and expensive renovations which we can't really afford.

    I think the project you may be thinking about is the campus link they've been trying to foster along Ayers -- trying to make a walkable link from UCO to downtown Edmond. I guess it's still a work in progress.

  18. #18

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Edmond, a college town...rofl. I haven't had that good of a chuckle in a while. Whew.

    Maybe years ago, before it became "yuppie central". And maybe it has another chance now that other locations are competing for that title. But first and foremost, Edmond is going to have to remove that baseball-bat from it's sphincter and loosen up a LOT!

  19. #19

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    I don't know if Edmond was or will be a college town - as Tao said, maybe it was more of one in the past, but I don't think it will become one. Also, as Tao wrongly said, it has nothing to do with things being stuck in anything's anatomy. Edmond is a nice family town now - that isn't worse or better than a college town, its just different.

  20. #20

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    don't norman my edmond

  21. #21

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Has there ever been any talk about UCO moving up to D-1 status. That might help in national publicity that would bring more out-of-state students that would have to stay on campus. To me it makes more sense for UCO to be D-1 than OCU since the enrollment is so much larger. I know there are a lot of things that go into becoming a D-1 school that I personally don't understand.

  22. #22

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by hipsterdoofus View Post
    Also, as Tao wrongly said, it has nothing to do with things being stuck in anything's anatomy.
    So what do you think of when someone characterizes a place as being a "college town"? I think of it as being a little more edgy. And, yeah, to become more edgy, Edmond needs to lose something. However, that's completely different from being a great place to raise a family. I can still remember my first Halloween in Edmond. We had moved there from NW OKC. In our old neighborhood (which was a pretty good place by all accounts), Halloween wasn't a whole lot different from any other night. We'd get maybe 6-8 trick-or-treaters in an evening. So, expecting the same in Edmond, we decided to go out with our daughter while she made the rounds. Except, we couldn't get out of the door because so many kids kept coming by. And when we finally DID make it out, we saw that the entire neighborhood had turned out! Kids were everywhere...and parents were sitting in lawn chairs in their driveway, handing out candy to the spooks and goblins haunting the neighborhood. In short, it was much more the type of holiday I remembered from my childhood than I'd experienced in decades. BUT...as good as that was, it's still not even remotely a quality I'd associate with a place being a "college town". In fact, it's kinda the opposite when you get right down to it.

  23. #23

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    UCO is probably working more towards FCS (formerly known as D-1AA) rather than FBS. The trouble is that as of right now, the facilities have a ways to go to be compliant (although they are some of the best facilities in D-II).

    I believe there are also some requirements like regular game attendance, donor support, endowment size, etc., which aren't met by UCO.

    UCO has been working hard on upgrading its academic profile, so I imagine joining a better league is something they're interested in.

  24. #24

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    So what do you think of when someone characterizes a place as being a "college town"? I think of it as being a little more edgy. And, yeah, to become more edgy, Edmond needs to lose something.
    I see both sides of your mouth moving - you seem to indicate that the family atmosphere is good, but you also want to put a negative connotation on it. I think both types of towns can be fine - maybe Edmond just grew up.

  25. #25

    Default Re: can edmond become a true college town?

    Quote Originally Posted by hipsterdoofus View Post
    I see both sides of your mouth moving - you seem to indicate that the family atmosphere is good, but you also want to put a negative connotation on it. I think both types of towns can be fine - maybe Edmond just grew up.

    Family atmosphere is very good...but it's not the first thing I think of when I hear the term "college town". You seem to be taking offense because I don't think Edmond is all things to all people. Overall, I like the town. I've lived there off and on for the last 35 years. But it's nowhere near as hip as Norman and has a long way to go to get there. There's nothing wrong with that...that's just the way it is.

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