Oklahoma State University is sprucing up one of its well-known areas.
If you have stopped at the corner of Duck and McElroy over the past few weeks, you have probably noticed the huge amount of construction being down on the southwest corner of that intersection.
The creek area along Duck Street behind Allie P. Reynolds Stadium and Cowgirl Stadium is getting a facelift as the university is looking to make one of their main gateways more attractive.
The project is not only for aesthetic appeal, but also for safety as the sidewalk along Boomer Creek next to Duck Street is not wide enough for foot traffic on a heavy intersection, the university said.
That, combined with the already eroding creek bed that has been neglected for years, called for improvement. The school decided to have a full-fledged beautification project with the construction as it will be a beacon for the university.
According to a release from the university, the project could have many benefits including to “constructing a wider, safer sidewalks connecting campus with new hotels, restaurants and businesses, business corridors, and enhancing alternative transportation access to various businesses, and finally developing a community enhancing public access green space.”
The whole area in that corner is expected to increase in terms of foot traffic as most of the athletic facilities are getting upgrades. During OSU football season, it is a heavily trafficked walkway. With the already built Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center and the track and field facilities joining softball and baseball in that area, the university felt it needed some work done.
OSU baseball will open O’Brate Stadium at the corner of McElroy and Washington next spring with the Greenwood Center hosting the NCAA national championships in May. It is also speculated that in the near future, an indoor track facility will be built, along with upgrades to Cowgirl Stadium.
With all the hubbub around the area, a new green space will be a grand addition to show off some of the university’s more popular attractions.
OSU had that in mind with this construction project when planning it.
“Currently pedestrians and bicyclists have no walkway bridge or sidewalk access east/west on McElroy to campus or city businesses due to the street intersection in relation to Boomer Creek,” the release states. “The lack of sidewalk access further restricts visitor and alumni pedestrian flow during University sporting events since this corridor is adjacent to the Northeast side of the Athletic Village which includes softball, baseball, and the newly developed track and tennis facilities. Sidewalk access will increase safe pedestrian or bicycle use from commuter parking lots, adjacent private residential housing growth, and visitor access to nearby city businesses during sporting events.”
The Boomer Creek Gateway project is a joint effort between Stillwater City Development Services, and OSU’s Facilities Management, Long Range Facilities Planning, Athletics and the General University.
Renderings show the idea that more trees will be grown along that area with a walkway over the creek being put in as well, with benches spread intermittently throughout.
With the future of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in the air and the popularity of fans driving their trucks up to the outfield wall of the softball stadium this past year, there might be some changes soon, but this is the current plan of what is happening at McElroy and Duck.