Terms such as "game changer" and "state-of-the-art" have been used to describe the University of Oklahoma's new housing center, and one look at the facility confirms that both are accurate.
The facility is located on the southeast corner of the Jenkins Ave. and Lindsey St. intersection and will house 49 percent student-athletes and 51 percent students who are not athletes. The facility boasts housing for 380 students in two- and four-bedroom units. Amenities include a game room, a media lounge, common areas, study rooms, a 75-seat theatre and the Sam Bradford Training Table, among numerous other features and creature comforts.
The $75 million project was privately financed by OU's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Headington gave a $10 million gift to benefit the project, and OU officials have expressed their gratitude.
"The OU family deeply appreciates the extraordinary gift of Tim Headington and other major donors to the new housing center," OU President David L. Boren said. "It will offer the student-athletes and other students who live in Headington Hall and unexcelled place to live, study and create a strong sense of community."
Two former OU football players also donated to support the construction Headington Hall. Adrian Peterson, All-America running back who played at OU from 2004 through 2006, pledged $1 million to OU Athletics with $500,000 dedicated to the project, the largest financial gift ever given to OU Athletics from a former Sooners football player. Former All-American quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford gave $500,000 toward the facility.
According to OU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione, the facility sets the standard for student housing.
"Anytime we try to do something here at Oklahoma, it's to create a standard of excellence and to uphold anything that allows us to pursue excellence," Castiglione said. "I think at this point, it stands alone in its uniqueness, its sustainability, it's services to the students who live here and use it on a daily basis."
Headington Hall is truly a game changer for the university, according to OU Head Football Coach Bob Stoops.
"There's nothing else like it on another campus in America," Stoops said. "Headington Hall is much more than a state-of-the art residence hall. It's a place that generations of Sooners will be able to call home. I'd particularly like to thank Tim Headington, Adrian Peterson, Sam Bradford and the many other great OU donors who made this moment possible, along with President Boren, Joe Castiglione and all of the individuals involved in the design and construction process.
"We've all been eagerly watching the construction process across the street from the Switzer Center. Our staff is anxious to have yet another first-class facility to further enhance the experience of our student-athletes at the University of Oklahoma. We are especially excited about the Sam Bradford Training Table that will provide all of our OU sports programs with a true competitive advantage in terms of world-class nutrition."
Castiglione led a media tour of Headington Hall on Sunday that provided a glimpse of the many amenities that await the 380 residents of the facility as student-athletes and their parents busily moved into their new rooms.
While there were many superlatives utilized to describe Headington Hall, perhaps no one summed it up better than sophomore wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
"It doesn't get much better than this," he said. "You have everything you could want in this building. You even have a movie theater. What do you not have?"
The answer to that? Nothing.