The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 12, 2013

Open house at new University Center

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The ribbon was cut and the speeches were made Thursday night at the official open house for Enid High School’s new University Center.

Student Council members, pom squad members, cheerleaders and the band helped celebrate the day.

EHS graduate Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Superintendent Shawn Hime gave speeches at the open house.

Paige Christy, a sophomore from Waukomis who has been a student at Enid Public Schools most of her school years, takes advanced placement biology and world human geography at UC during second and third hours.

“You don’t really apply for classes in the University Center,” Paige said. “If you are on a college-bound schedule, if you’ve taken AP and enriched classes before, it will ask you if you want to take these classes.”

Paige said she appreciates the atmosphere at UC.

“Most of the kids are college-bound and they are there to learn,” Paige said. “It’s a beautiful University Center. Everything is really up to par, the paint and the desks and the walls. They did a really nice job of everything.”

The 20-classroom building on the northeast corner of the EHS campus is home to advanced placement and dual-credit classes. Partnerships with Northern Oklahoma College, Autry Technology Center and the College Board make it possible for students to earn enough higher education credit to enter college as sophomores when they leave high school.

The $6.5 million UC was not envisioned in the 2010 school construction and renovation bond initiative. The money for its construction came from savings on other projects that were part of the $99 million bond issue.

EHS provides textbooks for high school and college-level classes free of charge. The Vicki and Kevin Davis Scholarship, funded by the Ray Davis Family Trust and administered by Enid Public School Foundation, assists financially needy seniors with expenses of college-level classes at UC.

School officials estimate Enid families can save up to $30,000 in college costs by taking classes at UC.

EHS was selected this year for a National Math and Science Initiative grant. The program offers national-caliber professional development training for teachers and provides support and incentives for students taking advanced placement coursework.