Many major ongoing campus construction projects made further progress, while a few projects were completed over winter break.

Winter break construction focused mainly on the continuation of ongoing projects, including upgrades made to Washington Hall and the construction of the new Clippinger Hall building. 

Projects finished prior to or during winter break include renovations made to Ellis Hall; the asbestos abatement of The Ridges buildings 13, 14 and 18; and the planned campus power outage on Dec. 21 and 22 meant to renovate the campus electrical network. 

The ongoing upgrade of Washington Hall will include domestic water and restroom improvements, as well as the addition of new cooling pipes, study rooms and a community kitchen.

That project is set to be completed by June with a budget of approximately $5.7 million. There are no plans to reopen Washington Hall for occupation at any point in the year, according to Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life Pete Trentacoste. 

The new Clippinger Hall has been under construction since September, and is targeted for completion in October 2020 with a budget of $42.6 million. It is considered the first phase of the three-phase Clippinger renovation project. 

The renovation of Ellis Hall began in October 2017 and reached substantial completion in November 2018. Ellis Hall opened Monday for classes this semester. 

“It was all geared around making it functional for (the beginning of the semester),” Stephen Wood, senior associate vice president and chief facilities officer, said. 

Renovations made in Ellis Hall are set to be fully completed by March under the budget of approximately $13 million. 

There will be a grand opening ceremony for Ellis Hall at 1 p.m. on Friday.

The asbestos abatement of Ridges Buildings 13, 14 and 18 were completed, which is the first step in a larger plan to renovate the buildings, Wood said. 

The planned renovation has a budget of approximately $13.1 million, and will involve a renovation of the buildings’ mechanical, electrical, technological and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as a refresh of the buildings’ interiors, OU Spokesman Jim Sabin said. 

Bids for construction at Buildings 13, 14 and 18 began Tuesday, and a budget amendment will be brought before the OU Board of Trustees during the January meeting, which takes place Thursday and Friday.

The planned campus-wide power outage on Dec. 21 and 22 cost $300,000 and allowed the university to remove a puffer switch which constricted the campus electrical network. Two major electrical cables that roughly support the two halves of campus were also replaced, allowing the electrical network to carry a larger capacity, Wood said. 

“Overall, this project was designed and executed to improve the resiliency and redundancy of our campus electrical distribution system,” Wood said.