Groundbreaking held for new Rodeo/Agriculture Expo Center
April 25, 2022
The dream of a new Rodeo/Agriculture Expo Center at Southeastern Oklahoma State University took another step closer to reality Monday afternoon with an official groundbreaking ceremony.
The new facility will be constructed on First Street, near the SE softball complex and inside the Crooked Smile Trail. It will replace the Equestrian Center, which is currently located on Ninth Avenue.
Taking part in the ceremony were Southeastern president Thomas Newsom, Regent Connie Reilly, chair of the Regional University System Board of Regents, athletic director Keith Baxter, rodeo coach Christi Braudrick, rodeo team member Gus Franzen, GH2 architect Olivia Hupy, and Plyler Construction president David Plyler. They were joined by an impressive crowd of 150 University and rodeo supporters, as well as community members.
The facility will not only be used by the championship SE rodeo team, but for community events as well.
The project includes turnout shelters with 40 total runs and pasture shelters in 12 pastures for livestock and horses.
With a 135’ x 225’ lighted outdoor arena, livestock penning, elevated announcer’s booth and bleacher seating for over 500, the rodeo program will have a well-equipped space to practice and host more events.
The project also includes a new 3,800 square-foot structure for a classroom building that provides an office, computer lab, large meeting and classroom space, hospitality kitchen, and a shop area that will serve both the rodeo program and Southeastern as a whole.