The broken pedestrian gate facing west in Cokesbury Court Apartments has been welded shut.
The gate was an easy exit for Cokesbury residents trying to walk to nearby stores or to the Lambda Chi Alpha house.
“It needed to be welded shut so it could be closed,” said Liz Harney, associate director of student housing and apartments. “There is not currently a card swipe on that door.”
The same gate was welded shut before it was broken, so it is not a change from how it was previously, she said.
“We need an actual gate on that corner or for it to be reopened because that hole was honestly more secure than the gate by Draper and the gate that’s now permanently open,” said Eric Capelle, vocal performance sophomore.
That gate is the only pedestrian gate on the west side, so the only way to exit onto Virginia Avenue is via the car pressure sensor. But that gate doesn’t open from the outside, so it’s only an exit.
“Those are some issues that we have to overcome and so we have some things in place,” said Major Rocky Miller from the OKC Fire Marshal’s Office. “In a general way, as long as the occupants inside the building can find the means of egress and exit out that particular egress, there’s typically not an issue as long as they can make it to the public way.”
Even though this is a safety concern for the apartments, some students think it’s an inconvenience.
“I think it’s mostly just a nuisance,” said Alex Petersen, music theater senior. “If someone want to get into Cokes, they will find a way.”
University officials are looking into other options.
“We are always looking to improve access and security to Cokesbury, so we are looking at ways to get it opened safely,” Harney said.