UCSO in Ardmore looks to expand campus

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - The University Center of Southern OKlahoma has been in its location on the north side of Ardmore since the beginning of 2017 and is already planning to expand.

UCSO president Peggy Maher said the center has had a long term lease to use classrooms and offices at the Ardmore City Schools administration building.

However, that lease is now up for the center, which serves about 1000 students.

"We can't do without the classrooms we still have there, and office space, so we really need to build," Maher said.

Maher said the existing Health, Science and Math Center, which opened in January 2017, is only the first step in a long-term plan to add additional buildings.

"It doesn't have enough space for all of our functions," Maher said.

UCSO plans to build an additional building on the east side to include more classrooms and office spaces as well as a couple other ideas still in the works, like a cafe where students can eat and study.

"There's no place within walking distance here and many students have time between classes, but not enough to go and get something and come back," Maher said.

UCSO has also been exploring options for childcare in the new building, something student William Brown said would be a great incentive.

"I think it'll give more people an opportunity, especially single parents... in this area, to come in and further build on their future and success," Brown said.

UCSO does not know how much the addition will cost but it will be far less than the Health, Science and Math Center, which ran about $17 million.

UCSO said it does not have a set time to begin construction on the new building but would like to have it completed within the next year and a half.