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Oklahoma Business

10 new uses for the Chesapeake Energy campus

7:30 AM EST on February 11, 2021

Last week, The Oklahoman put a report behind their paywall on the status of the once lavish, now barren, Chesapeake Energy campus that many of us impoverished plebeians very rarely ever get to see.

The gist is Chesapeake is hoping to "lure one company (or maybe more) that would commit to making part of Chesapeake’s home their own." In this post-pandemic world, where more and more people are working from home in their pajamas, and big fancy corporate campuses seem to be on the way out, that seems more like a prayer than a hope.

With that in mind, Patrick and I thought it would be good to come up with a list of better, more practical uses for the campus. In no particular order, they are:

Random Youth Center

Even though there’s a Big Brothers/Big Sisters down the road near NW 36th, with Chesapeake’s wide-open spaces, maybe we could turn one of these empty buildings and barren lands into a non-profit center for Oklahoma’s burgeoning youth. Offering afterschool projects, sports and so on, this could be a real boon to the neighborhood for today’s modern-enough latchkey kid. – L.F

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Paint Ball Course

Actually, maybe a better idea would be to make it a Fortnight in real-life experience. Drop people down on hang gliders, keep stores of weapons and fracking fluid in secret rooms, and stream it on Twitch with Mike Steely on the call. – Patrick

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Supermercados Morelos

There’s a part of me that feels sad for the area Chesapeake is in, mostly because there are only two grocery stores: Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. While both those are decent grocery stores—but so expensive!—I think that a far less pricey Supermercados Morelos in the heart of the campus would work cultural wonders. And, besides, it would probably be nice for Chesapeake employees to cash their last paycheck there. – L.F

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North Pole City (North Campus)

One big bummer about the fall of Chesapeake is that we lost their Clark Griswold-inspired Christmastime experience. If North Pole City opened up a second location, it would bring back Christmas to 63rd and Western on a full-time basis. – Patrick

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Oil Overlord Hall of Fame

Sure, they already have their own version of that with The Oklahoman Hall Of Fame, but this would be an excellent homage to the place Aubrey built. – Patrick

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Homeless Tent Enclosure

While the Ellison Hotel is currently being built across the street from the Chesapeake, what about those Oklahoma Cityans that can’t afford a night, let alone an hour, at the beautifully sprawling place? I’m proposing a tent city, much like the ones the bigger, better cities have, one that has the opportunity to be an enclosed metropolis of starving and huddled masses that can’t make it in the dropping OKC job market. We could even name it after Aubrey McClendon! – L.F

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Duke Junior College 

The look and feel of the buildings on the Chesapeake campus were inspired by Aubrey's alma mater, Duke University. As a result, maybe we could talk the school into opening a junior college or vo-tech at the facility? – Patrick

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Plaza Mayor 2!

Even though Plaza Mayor, then in Crossroads Mall, was a hopeful dream of Latino culture, sadly, it failed sometime in 2017, even though parts have apparently managed to hold on. That being said, maybe Chesapeake should turn one of those massive buildings into Plaza Mayor 2; I’m sure that those Nichols Hills-types that live and work in the area would love to spend their liberal dollars there, if only to be seen buying a bushel of baptism dresses and a spicy mouthful of menudo. – L.F

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Enterprise Square USA 2.0

Before it was, ironically enough, doomed by capitalism in the early 2000s, Enterprise Square was the world's first children's museum dedicated to indoctrinating young minds about the wonders of free-market capitalism. Perhaps it's time to re-think that idea, and flip the Chesapeake campus into Enterprise Square USA 2.0? It would a living museum showcasing the wonders of crony-capitalism, rigged Wall Street economies, oligarchy and Ponzi schemes. – Patrick

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Taco Trucks!

There’s nothing I like better than a well-stocked taco truck but, in that part of town, there’s never one around when the absolute need for a torta (or something similar) strikes deep down in your estómago. So, if we get none of the things above—and, really, we probably won’t—can we, or at the very least, myself, get a Latino-owned taco truck on campus? Please? – L.F

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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