UCO's Old North Case Study
Old North Case Study
As the first higher education building in the state, full renovations of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Old North building were highly anticipated for more than a decade. After 16 years of vacancy, the project was finally set for a $14 million renovation.
The building, which now includes approximately 44,000 square feet, serves as office, classroom, and gathering space for students, faculty, and staff across campus.
As the University of Central Oklahoma’s preferred external audio visual provider, Cory’s Audio Visual was asked to collaborate with architects, staff, and others to come up with a solution for the technologically-challenging and historical space.
New technologies are funneling into classrooms quickly gaining more and more collaboration and communication technology to help students engage and learn across multiple locations.
“We wanted the rooms within Old North to be modern and interactive to bring a better, more technologically consistent experience to the classroom, but at the same time, focus on preserving the historic space,” said Julio Mata, the university’s media manager.
- The vision of open ceilings and exposed, 126-year-old brick and stone throughout the 44,000 square-foot facilities.
- A wide variety of users meant that the technology had to be seamless and easy-to-use, no matter the user’s level of comfort with technology.
“The university needing to incorporate 21st Century technology just like any other building, but the challenge was not being able to hang things from the walls,” said Mata. “Cory’s Audio Visual was tasked with working hand-in-hand with our team and the architects to come up with turn-key solutions that worked for both the space and the students and faculty.”
University of Central Oklahoma’s technology standards was reflected in a solution that provided staff, instructors, and students with:
- Easy to manage Extron presentation technology that starts with one push of a button
- State-of-the-art Sharp 80” LED HDTV displays to grab students’ attention
- Podiums containing turn-key inputs for multiple types of technology to be used
- Dropdown sound systems to avoid presentation sounds being lost in the ceilings
- Mounts for displays to avoid damage and unnecessary weight to historical walls
- Conference rooms and study areas that make collaborating easy among groups of people
The team of Cory’s Audio Visual engineers and professionals focused on keeping the modern look by helping the audio system and necessary wiring disappear into the design, despite the open ceiling concept.
Old North opened to students in 2017. With easier communication, more engaging ways to learn, and a beautiful, upgraded space to collaborate, the students and faculty report that the building with so much history is poised to be a hub for learning for decades to come.
UCO faculty spends less time getting the technology to start and more time engaging their students. In addition, the facility is a gorgeous example of how history can also mean innovative.