New dormitories nearing completion at Connors State

Monday, July 29th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WARNER, Okla. (AP) _ The president of Connors State College is hoping a $9.8 million student housing project that is nearing completion will increase enrollment at the school.

The dormitories, scheduled for completion Aug. 12, will house more than 240 students. President Donnie Nero said the dorms are part of a beautification process to give Connors a new reputation.

Nero said he expects the move to increase enrollment by 10 percent.

The project includes three apartment-style dorms; quads for single students; and one family apartment. It also includes a clubhouse with a study area, computer room, convenience store, laundry room, recreation room and a pool.

The old dorms were substandard and hurt the college's recruitment, Nero said. Enrollment for the fall semester is up already compared with enrollment in the last two semesters.

The college usually sees larger enrollment numbers at its two campuses in Muskogee compared to the campus in Warner. This year, enrollment at the Warner campus has surpassed the Muskogee sites, Nero said.

With classes set to start Aug. 19, about 150 students have signed up for the new housing. Last spring, 180 students lived in the old dorms.

The old dorms were built in the 1930s. The old women's housing held 80 students and the men's dorms held 150.

Of Oklahoma's 13 two-year colleges, eight have campus housing, said Harve Allen of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The new apartments were funded with revenue bonds and no state money was used. Student rent on the dorms will pay off the bonds, Nero said.

Connors has raised $80,000 for scholarships to decrease students' rent for the new apartment-style dorms.

Through word-of-mouth, information about the new housing should reach prospective students and help the school, Nero said.

``It takes time to move from poor to excellent and, with that mindset, we are moving forward,'' Nero said.

The old dorms will be converted for other campus uses.