Ouachita Apartments, which houses 16 apartment units, will reopen this fall following extensive renovations thanks to generous gifts from university donors.
Ouachita Baptist University President Ben Sells announced the renovation project during the campus chapel service on Feb. 13. He noted that the project, approved by the Ouachita Board of Trustees, is scheduled for completion in August.
“Ouachita is growing and we’re planning for that growth. People are stepping forward to help us,” Dr. Sells emphasized. “Two families have made gifts to fully renovate Ouachita Apartments and they will be ready by fall. One of the families you know well – Dr. Wesley and Debbie Kluck. The other donor is someone who has never been to campus, but they have heard about the good things that are happening at Ouachita and want to be involved.”
Dr. Kluck, vice president for student development, and his wife, Debbie, provided the lead gift for the renovation project.
“Debbie and I are always wanting to invest in the lives of Ouachita students,” Dr. Kluck said. “By providing a gift to renovate the Ouachita Apartments, we have the opportunity to enhance the OBU living experience of the students and provide a place for the development of a strong community bond. We have been blessed to have extra resources and can think of no better way to steward them than through this donation.”
The two apartment buildings, which were built in the 1950s, have been vacant in recent years. The apartments are located on the corner of 8th Street and McNutt Street just west of Ouachita’s main campus. The facilities include eight one-bedroom apartments and eight two-bedroom apartments. The units will be available to qualified junior and senior female students and married couples.
The renovations will include a new kitchen floor plan that makes more efficient use of the space as well as new kitchen cabinets and appliances, including a washer/dryer, refrigerator, stove/oven and microwave. The renovated apartments also will feature new kitchen and bathroom flooring and refinished oak flooring in the living area and bedrooms. Additional upgrades will include new bathrooms, windows, drywall, insulation, wiring, plumbing and heating and air units.
“The goal of the renovation is to create a living space that meets the needs of our students while retaining the character of the vintage structure,” according to Bill Phelps, assistant to the president for IT Services and Facilities Management.
“We have been planning this project since early fall and I am glad to see it get started,” Phelps added. “It promises to be an apartment complex that Ouachita will be proud to provide and where our students will enjoy a very comfortable living experience.”
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications
February 15, 2018