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 such as the Oklahoma State University campus in Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC).
The OSU-OKC campus located at 900 N. Portland Avenue has used these bond funds to build its Agriculture Resource Center’s conservatory, a living laboratory of plant varieties and an addition to OKC’s skyline with its nightly soft glow. In addition, the funds also 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.
According to Evelyn Bollenbach, director of public relations for OSU-OKC, approximately 65 percent of the funding for the Agriculture Resource Center and approximately 75 percent of the funding for the Public Safety Training Center came from the Higher Education capital bond issue.
“The Agriculture Resource Center will bring together all the resources for the agriculture technologies department, including horticulture and veterinary technology, under one roof,” said Bollenbach. “Students in both programs will have access to state-of-the-art industry equipment, facilities and instructors.”
The Public Safety Training Center will serve as the hub for first responder training.
“All areas of emergency response, including police, fire, EMT and human service careers, will be integrated. As a result, not only will students be better served, the community will be supplied with highly skilled and trained first responder professionals,” adds Bollenbach.
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.
Helped fund the new science and agriculture building to continue the university’s ongoing contribution to agricultural education.
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.