OSU, Stillwater officials develop plan to connect campus to downtown

Although a timeline isn't in place for the project, officials with Oklahoma State University and the city of Stillwater say a plan to connect the campus to downtown could benefit both parties.
by Silas Allen Published: July 18, 2012

Private effort

Because the project mostly hinges on attracting private investment rather than public funding, Dennison said, the plan is more of a guideline for future developers than a project the city would implement, she said.

Mike Buchert, OSU's director of long-range planning and a member of the Stillwater Planning Commission, said the plan would give students better pedestrian access to downtown. Once the route is complete, he said, the downtown area would be a five-minute bike ride or a 15-minute leisurely walk from campus.

Although no timeline is in place for the pedestrian corridor project, the city has begun looking at widening sidewalks in areas where sidewalks needed to be repaired or replaced.

The city also hopes to attract student apartment complexes and other businesses to the area, Dennison said. Part of the plan includes expanding zoning districts that would allow for high-density apartment buildings, including structures up to seven stories high.

The plan isn't the first development proposal to be made. Last year, the city council approved plans for a 164-bedroom student apartment complex near 4th Avenue and Hester Street, about two blocks south of campus. OSU officials also are planning a new performing arts complex adjacent to Campus Corner.

Dennison said those plans prompted the city to take a harder look at the area and create a master plan for development.

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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