Oklahoma City (Feb. 11, 2009)—The Oklahoma Lottery has contributed $250M to Oklahoma education with more than $110M used to pay for debt service on a higher education capital projects bond issue. These projects can be seen on college and university campuses throughout the state such as the new science and agriculture building at Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU).
According to Laura Hays, OPSU campus communications director, the new building incorporates classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices and provides state-of-the-art lab equipment and classroom space that incorporates the latest in education technology. Two specialized labs combine student learning and community service.
“A water quality testing facility benefits local municipalities, school districts, the agricultural sector and other entities that require water testing on a regular basis,” said Hays. “Currently, local city officials responsible for municipal water testing must ship the samples to the Department of Environmental Quality in Oklahoma City. The sample must be less than 30 hours old from the time it is drawn to the time it is set up for testing in a lab hundreds of miles away. A lab on the OPSU campus will help local Oklahoma cities and towns save money on freight and time.”
Hays also noted how the animal nutrition lab provides a service to the agricultural sector. Feed analysis allows producers to determine percentages of protein, fat, and other ingredients in their rations and adjust additives accordingly.
“Because Texas County produces more beef and pork than any other county in Oklahoma, this lab will provide a convenient, essential service to area producers,” said Hays.
The Oklahoma Education Lottery Act, passed in November 2004, designates the net proceeds of all Lottery games for educational improvements and enhancements statewide. The funds benefit all levels of education from Pre-K to higher education. The higher education capital bond issue Gov. Brad Henry signed into law in 2005 allows colleges and universities to access these funds for renovations and expansions to serve more students effectively and efficiently.
Lottery funds have also contributed to the betterment of the following educational systems:
Helped fund the Delores O’Guin Mitchell Library, a state-of-the-art electronic library.
Northeastern State University
Assisted in renovating its science building, developing its Enrollment Management Center and renovating areas of its Broken Arrow campus.
Used funds to build its Agriculture Resource Center’s conservatory, a living laboratory of plant varieties.
Helped finance its Public Safety Training Center, a 22,000 square foot building housing classes for students in police, fire and emergency medical technology, early care education, crime victim/survivor, and chemical abuse studies.
Assisted in renovating its occupational safety and health, and theatre buildings and
helped build a new general classroom building.
University of Central Oklahoma
Helping fund the construction of its forensic science building to be completed in Fall 2009.
Assisted in financing the National Weather Center, the largest research center of its kind in the nation.
Northern Oklahoma College
Helping build, expand and renovate campus buildings for academic and administrative purposes.
Assisting in building a new interdisciplinary research building and the restoration and renovation of South Murray Hall.
Helped with the expansion of the Health Professions Education Center.
Lottery proceeds are used throughout the state to supplement existing funds for a variety of important education purposes, including: teacher compensation and benefits, early childhood development programs, college scholarships, classroom technology and construction of educational facilities.
For more information about the Oklahoma Lottery, please visit www.lottery.ok.gov.