New facilities open, in the works at SOSU

New facilities open, in the works at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
New facilities open, in the works at Southeastern Oklahoma State.(KXII)
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 9:32 PM CST
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DURANT, Oklahoma (KXII) - Southeastern Oklahoma State University has a number of new facilities open on campus, while others are in the works as enrollment continues to break records.

The Semple Family Museum of Native American Art is a two-year long project that will be open soon to the public.

“All these years we’ve been wishing we would have a museum situation so they can be hung and seen by more people,” said Janie Semple, curator of the museum.

Her brother, Frank Semple, donated $2 million to construct the 5,000 square foot multi-level facility.

All pieces in the facility were made by native American artists and donated to the university in the mid-90′s.

“For over 25 years, the university has owned a collection of Native American art that is absolutely stunning,” Semple said. “It was donated to us in the mid-90′s and it has not really had a home.”

They represent the 26 tribes from Oklahoma as well as some others in US. The paintings were done between the 1950′s and now, today they have a home.

“We’re very excited to think about the time the public can come in and not only enjoy the paintings, but hear about the history of certain tribes,” Semple said.

What used to be a swimming pool is now a fifteen thousand square foot weight and turf room on campus for student-athletes.

“The weight room before was under the football bleachers and so this weight room is a lot better,” said Caroline Griffith, a senior volleyball player.

Her and her teammates also got to practice in the new volleyball-only gym at the Bloomer-Sullivan Gymansium.

“It’s nice that it’s a volleyball-only gym, if we want to come practice in the morning and play we can come whenever,” Griffith said.

The university also plans to bring an Einstein’s Bagel to campus. This will be the only university-located Einstein’s with the only drive through in the country.

They’re also in the beginning stages of bringing the equestrian center on the south side of town to campus. That will be located just east of the softball complex.

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