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Rogers State University Building New Student Center

One of Oklahoma's fastest growing colleges is in a building boom. Rogers State University has been adding buildings to make room for new students and new programs.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the campus of Rogers State University in Claremore is a mix of the very new and the very old.

A spot of bare dirt on the campus will soon be one of the biggest buildings on the campus. It's a $12 million student center, with a ballroom and bookstore and offices and plenty of room for students to congregate.

The students even voted to increase their fees to help pay for it. Greg Hope, RSU Student Government President: "More places to study, more places for students to meet, student organizations on campus." Students like Greg Hope are fueling the growth at the campus. "I came here, it was close to home, and a smaller university."

Some of the buildings at RSU - like new dormitory - are brand new but maintain the traditional design of the rest of the campus. Other buildings look old because they are. Many of them were built during World War II when it was a military college.

The new student center is the latest, but there have been many other big building programs on campus, like the Stratton Taylor Library, prompted by the big increase in enrollment that came with this former 2 year college becoming a university in 1999.

RSU president Joe Wiley: “We've had explosive growth, but really no one else in Northeast Oklahoma has lost any either, which I think is an indication of build it and they will come.” Wiley believes the university is growing because more students want to get a degree while living and working close to home. "So every time we add a degree program, it just brings and influx of students."

A couple of buildings were demolished to make room for the new student center, which will take a year and a half to build.

While students are paying for part of it with their fees - most of the $12 million cost came from taxpayers, through the state legislature.
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