Oklahoma Christian University’s significant enrollment growth has contributed to a need for more on-campus student housing. After thorough analysis and prayerful deliberation, OC’s administration has announced plans to gradually convert the Tealridge Retirement Community from a senior residential facility to a student living facility over the next several years.
OC president John deSteiguer said it is not anticipated that current Tealridge residents will be asked to move, and certainly not in the near term. Tealridge staff members also remain in place to serve the residents. To facilitate the transition, Tealridge will only accept new senior residents who are already in process or have existing reservations. Rooms will be converted to student residences as they come available.
Earlier this year, about 30 current students moved into Tealridge from an older on-campus apartment facility, which will be razed in the coming months. Oklahoma Christian has operated Tealridge on campus since it opened in 1990.
“This transition will happen in a slow and considerate manner to minimize inconvenience to the current residents. We envision a gradual and natural transition that will take place over several years,” deSteiguer said. “We have received positive feedback about the intergenerational interactions our student residents and senior residents have enjoyed the past few months. We know our students benefit by conversing with the fine Christian residents at Tealridge.”
In addition to the intergenerational opportunities that will grow during this transition, gradually converting Tealridge to a student living community provides a way for Oklahoma Christian to meet the current residents’ needs while maintaining affordability for OC students, about 80 percent of whom live on campus. Oklahoma Christian has held its price of attendance steady the past two years, making OC the state’s only university and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to not raise its price in that timeframe.
“We are committed to offering our students a residential experience aimed at building their faith and a stronger campus community,” deSteiguer said. “At a time when the costs of college and student debt are in the headlines, we are focused on delivering a high-quality Christian education at an affordable price rather than undertaking a major building project that could require large tuition increases to finance. This transition allows us to accommodate our growing enrollment in a way that honors Tealridge residents and benefits our students and their families.”