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What’s top of mind at KSQ

community

5 Steps to a Successful School Bond Campaign

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Managing a public school bond campaign is a challenging undertaking with many moving parts. A successful campaign requires the ability of the district to create, communicate, and excite the community with visions of the future while balancing the realities of a potential tax increase for voters. Ultimately, a successful school bond campaign educates voters so they understand and accept benefits outweigh costs. The challenge most districts face is how to shift the conversations from brick and mortar to values and beliefs.

 

 

 

We’ve worked with school districts for decades, helping them lay the foundation for success when it comes to stakeholder support. In our experience, five key factors can make or break the bond effort for your district and the students you serve.

  1. Invest in the power of partnerships. Schools that thrive find ways to create symbiotic relationships with the community—from nonprofits and corporations to leaders in City Hall. These communities need strong schools to recruit talented staff, bring new companies to town and educate tomorrow’s workforce with the skills that will be needed for tomorrow’s jobs. When preparing for the future—whether investments are needed in technology, buildings or transportation­­­­­–these partnerships can lend a hand to the planning process. For example, a district with aging buildings that no longer meet the needs of enrollment and/or curriculum requirements is wise to engage professionals from the design and construction industry to help conduct facility assessments, identify associated costs and schedule for renovation or demolition. They can also review any demographic analysis or other studies conducted that may inform what facilities the district may need in the next decade. Professionals are often willing to provide a certain range of services at very little cost to help the district create the plan, with no guarantee of future paid work. It’s part of being a good community partner and working together to achieve the big picture.

    KSQ’s ‘Building Blocks 101’ Lego class is one way we engage with our local districts–companies investing their time and talent in schools is a great way to garner community support.

  2. Get the collegiate perspective. With the landscape of higher education ever changing and the needs and demands for student skills always evolving, school district leaders are wise to gather input from local and state higher education administrators to find out what makes for a prepared college student. Community colleges, technical schools and traditional four-year universities all look for key knowledge, traits and skill sets in incoming students—both hard and soft skills that are needed for success in post-secondary education and the world beyond. How their input can impact learning in the K-12 sector is something to consider.

    With an eye toward the future, this study lounge for a public high school in Oklahoma is part of a program to prepare students to test, apply and prepare for college.

  3. Hone your message. Once your district has a plan for a proposed package, you need to communicate the vision. Elevate the conversation above laptops, buses or brick buildings to the larger goal—the values and beliefs your district wants to improve upon. Is it student safety? 21st century learning? Life-long wellness? Or simply getting students out of portables? Communicating how the bond package underscores those type of core values reinforces a mission-driven approach that’s hard to vote against.
  4. Enlist some cheerleaders. Once you’ve identified your themes and have something for everyone to believe in, your district needs to not only communicate the what of the campaign but also the why of your campaign. If you’ve engage with local design professionals as you plan the bond, you’ll also have an array of conceptual images that help generate excitement and make the vision come to life. Armed with the what, the why and those illustrations, your district cheerleaders are ready to talk to a variety of stakeholders—parents, teachers, city leaders, business owners, the media and other key groups like local building contractors, parts and materials suppliers, and school equipment vendors. Think beyond school board meetings to connecting directly with local centers of influence. Small dinners, luncheons and one-one meetings with influential members of the community allow your leadership team to answer questions and get them on board in support of the vote so they can become your advocates.
  5. Celebrate and share your success. If your bond effort was successful, thank your stakeholders, cheerleaders and advocates who made it possible. Throw a district party—you’ve earned it! You have a great story now to tell—and likely quite a few lessons learned along the way. Publicize ground breakings and ribbon cuttings. Share your experience with others through an article, award submission, presentation at a school board conference or similar event. Pay it forward by sharing what you know and further cement your district’s reputation as a thought leader in advancing education­–and thereby setting your team up for success for the next time the district needs to garner public support.

* Editor’s Note:

KSQ NY Principal Scott Hillje and KSQ Charlotte Principal Doug Burns have led the firm’s effort to help local districts pass significant bond efforts. You can contact them for more information at shillje@ksq.design or dburns@ksq.design.

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campus

Jenks High School Dining Hall: Serving Up Campus Community

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Situation
The existing Jenks High School Central Campus Cafeteria was no longer adequate for its 1,500 students, lunchtime operations were stressful, and there wasn’t enough seating for existing and incoming students. KSQ Design initially was selected to help Jenks develop a program for renovating and expanding the facility; however, a thoughtful evaluation determined that the existing structure had reached its useful life span and it was more cost effective to build a new 35,000 SF cafeteria on the existing site, while also providing smoother operations, wayfinding and facility management throughout the process.

Temporary Accommodations

Taking down the existing cafeteria for a full school year also meant creating a makeshift dining venue. KSQ created an imaginative solution to meet the client’s needs by utilizing a nearby practice gymnasium which had a concession stand only needing minor modifications to function as a temporary kitchen. The team created separate programming for the temporary space, worked with the Department of Health to ensure quality and logistics, and had kitchen equipment and appliances inventoried and prepped for relocation.

Front and Center Location

The location of the existing cafeteria was in the middle of campus near the main entrance and bus drop off. The design team immediately saw an opportunity to take advantage of the site’s location, and opted to drop the entrance back 30-40 feet to allow for better pedestrian circulation in front, enhanced by a grand portico entry. Increasing the new building’s height also gave it a strong presence that will ultimately boost the potential for use by the community.

Upscale Student Dining

In keeping with high school design trends seen nationally, particularly in larger districts, the idea emerged that this wouldn’t be just a cafeteria. It would be a true dining hall, similar to the types of sophisticated collegiate dining venues KSQ creates for universities across the country. A variety of seating is in the grand dining room where one enters the building, with the servery located in the back of the room. An oversized wall graphic of the school’s Trojan mascot head is on an axis with the entry and emphasizes the strong identity and school pride at Jenks. The building’s shape itself was likened to puzzle pieces that fit together—the design team even took a series of manipulative puzzles to a client meeting to illustrate the idea of building components coming together in this fashion. The contemporary design language blends well with that of surrounding campus buildings, including a language of cantilevers which will serve as cover for outside dining areas.

“The new dining hall will not only serve as a fantastic facility for our students, but it will be a place for our entire community to gather,” stated Dr. Stacey Butterfield, Superintendent of Jenks Public Schools. “None of this would be possible without the hard work of our construction partners or without the vision of our administrators, child nutrition employees, and our teachers. Thanks to the support of our parents and patrons, we are able to create modern, functional spaces like this one which will serve our students for many decades.”

Jenks’ Trojan mascot becomes an oversized wall graphic in the large dining area. Reinforcing the strong sense of school pride was a key priority for the design team.

The ribbon cutting on August 15 celebrated a new dining hall with child nutrition staff front and center.

Teamwork Made the Dream Work.

Right from the kick-off meeting, the project team utilized an integrated project delivery process which brought the contractor into the process from the beginning. The team also toured similar facilities in Texas to gain inspiration and included child nutrition and students in the planning effort. The result is a kitchen that functions as beautifully as the building’s aesthetics, and a team that worked together with only one RFI (request for information), an unheard-of achievement on most construction projects.

“This has been an incredibly successful project from all facets,” said KSQ Design Managing Partner David W. Short, AIA. “The collaboration and teamwork between the client and design team resulted in only one RFI (Request for Information), a project that came in under budget and with great client satisfaction. The student reactions say it all—this is a dining hall similar to what we often design for universities, so it’s a big step up from what is typical for a high school.”

 

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community

KSQ Reaches Out: Helping Students Learn About Design

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Our passion for education and community outreach was ignited recently when our Tulsa office was asked to visit the Educare Pre-K classroom at Hawthorne Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools and talk about design inspiration as part of their architecture unit. Heather Miller from marketing and Adriana Vadasz from the interior design team were a great fit–bringing both a love of children and design talent to brighten their day and expand their young minds to what’s possible. Iggy Peck, Architect, one of our favorite children’s books, was the kickoff to our lesson.

The students loved the book Iggy Peck, Architect and Heather’s charming way with children.

Adriana explained to the students how, even as professionals, we sometimes use tools like Play-Doh and Legos to model our designs. Our visit was a big hit with the students, but Heather and Adriana may have gotten even more out of it. We’re currently thinking of ways we can continue to give back to this and other classrooms in the local community. Thank you, Ms. Rachel Richardson, for inviting us to your classroom!

A nice thank-you note complete with the students’ thumbprints was presented to Heather and Adriana.

In Charlotte, our office recently hosted a group of Myer’s Park High School students as part of the ACE Mentor program. The students spent time getting a brief overview of all the different aspects of KSQ, including a presentation on the marketing department, the design process, the role that graphics take in all aspects of our work, software we use to create documents, a walk through of a set of construction documents (and what software we use to produce them), and what goes into construction administration.

Stefan Pinheiro shows students the finish boards for a current project in the Charlotte studio.

Doug Kopec and Nelson Soggs speak to the students about construction administration and the importance of ensuring the project is built according to our design.

Students in the ACE program across Charlotte are gearing up for a competition in May, and we also helped them with resume, interviewing and presentation skills in order to get them ready for the event. Whether in our offices or in the classroom, our staff always enjoy the opportunity to educate and influence young minds about what we do!

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culture

How Our Design Firm Does Halloween

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October 31st is a big day at KSQ–as designers, we love any opportunity for creativity! From popular TV shows to puns and horror flicks, our architects, interior designers, engineers and support staff brought their best effort for our annual costume contest. Here’s how it all shook out.

Scariest Costume.

Sailka Duran, (Sinister) Tulsa…this needs to just become the “Sai Award.” She brings immense creativity and thought to her costumer every year!

Sailka Duran, (Sinister) Tulsa…this needs to just become the “Sai Award.” She brings immense creativity and thought to her costume every year!

Funniest Costume.

George Pritchard (S-ketchup) Tulsa. Adding an "S" to American's favorite condiment was a great pun!

George Pritchard (S-ketchup) Tulsa. Adding an “S” to America’s favorite condiment was a great pun!



Most Creative–AND Best All Around Costume.

Daniel Gonzales wowed everyone with what they called the "Fuzzy Space Worm”…but he has a much more intelligent explanation of it as a character from Meow Wolf shown in a Santa Fe art exhibit-wow! Daniel is pictured with Cornell Allen as Corbusier.

Daniel Gonzales wowed everyone with what they called the “Fuzzy Space Worm”…but he has a much more intelligent explanation of it as a character from Meow Wolf shown in a Santa Fe art exhibit-wow! Daniel is pictured with Cornell Allen as Corbusier.



Best Couple Costume.

Tyler Sappington and his T-Rex (from Jurasic Park), Tulsa. Can you tell who wears the pants in this relationship?

Tyler Sappington and his T-Rex (from Jurasic Park), Tulsa. Can you tell who wears the pants in this relationship?



Best Group Costume.

Our Charleston Office (as Hurricane Matthew) wowed the staff with their funny weather collaboration!

Our Charleston Office (as Hurricane Matthew) wowed the staff with their funny weather collaboration!

Best Office Costume.

Once again, the Charlotte office went over the top with a group production of "The Prince of Oz." What an effort!

Once again, the Charlotte office went over the top with a group production of “The Prince of Oz.” What an effort!

Fun with Puns.

Starbucks, Social Butterfly, Copy Cat, Sketchup and Cereal Killer brought some great puns to the Tulsa office.

Starbucks, Social Butterfly, Copy Cat, Sketchup and Cereal Killer brought some great puns to the Tulsa office.

Bob’s Burgers.

A very close second to Best Group Costume was Tulsa’s Bob’s Burger crew which included Erin Courtney, Lori Botchlet, Nancy Pounds and Kaitlin Voska.

A very close second to Best Group Costume was Tulsa’s Bob’s Burger crew which included Erin Courtney, Lori Botchlet, Nancy Pounds and Kaitlin Voska.



Talk of Texas.

Dr. Seuss (Marisela), Construction Troll (Armando) and Jack Skellington were fun additions to the day from our Dallas office.

Dr. Seuss (Marisela), Monster Contractor (Armando) and Jack Skellington (Gordon McKenzie) were fun additions to the day from our Dallas office.

Napoleon Dynamite Flashback.

A very close second on Best All Around costume was Clint Frederick in Tulsa as Rex Kwon Do!

A very close second on Best All Around costume was Clint Frederick in Tulsa as Rex Kwon Do!

See you next year!
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Uncategorized

Classroom Makeover for Math Teacher Adds Up to Success

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Can good design make 8th grade math more exciting? We think it does, and knowing what tough critics middle schoolers can be made this year’s Project Classroom makeover challenge even more fun. One of the most gratifying projects we complete every year, this mini makeover of a public school classroom for a deserving teacher uses all aspects of our project management–from planning and design through construction.

After selecting Ms. Emily Partridge, an 8th grade algebra teacher at East Central Junior High in Tulsa as our 2016 recipient, our team of volunteers met with her in July to learn about how she uses the room, her wish list for the space and color preferences. Here’s what the classroom looked like before we got a hold of it.
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After three months of planning, our team (along with partners Cyntergy AEC and Wallace Engineering) took over the room for the weekend to breathe new life into the equation, so to speak. Our favorite part is the big “reveal” on Monday morning, when Ms. Partridge and her students saw the room for the first time.

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Our approach was a collegiate theme, inspired by Ms. Partridge telling us how she encourages her students to think beyond high school. A chalkboard wall was our solution when she mentioned how much they like writable surfaces.

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We look forward to Project Classroom every year–making a difference for students is why we do what we do at KSQ.

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buzz

WEE HOUSE 2016: KSQ’ER BUILDS PLAYHOUSE

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Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Charlotte, North Carolina, is hosting WEE HOUSE 2016: Places We Play. The interactive exhibit celebrates the places where we play and offers twelve unique structures designed by local creatives; including KSQ designer Stefan Pinherio.

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trends

HEALING GARDENS IN SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES

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Healing Gardens are an important design component in best-in-class senior living communities, and this isn’t surprising considering their ability to provide social, psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits to senior residents and staff. People of all ages and cultures find nature restorative, and Roger Ulrich, a leading researcher in healing gardens explains why:

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culture

IT’S A STEM SUMMER IN KSQ OFFICES

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K12 outreach is a passion at KSQ Design and recognized as a direct way for us to give back to our communities and get to know our clients and end users better. We consider it a bonus when there’s a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) angle, since supporting STEM efforts also supports our industry and protects its future. We were lucky enough to have a chance to support STEM education recently when we hosted educators in our Charlotte office and students in our Tulsa office.

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buzz

NEW PRINCIPAL ANNOUNCED

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We’re pleased to announce Monica Roberts has been promoted to Principal at KSQ Design. Roberts has 20 years of experience in marketing and joined the firm’s Tulsa office in 2012. Since that time her role has grown to lead our business development, strategic planning and marketing/communications efforts.

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buzz

Topping Out At Kingston High School: A Milestone in District’s Century Capital Plan

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KSQ Design is pleased to announce the “topping out” of the Salzmann building at Kingston High School–a milestone in the firm’s expansion and remodel of the Kingston Central School District (KCSD). The Topping Out ceremony was attended by representatives of KCSD, KSQ and our project partner BBL Construction who all signed their names on the steel beam as a symbolic gesture.

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culture

Student Housing Interior Design Brings Nature Indoors

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Adriana Vadasz joined KSQ’s interior design team in 2012 and was the 2015 recipient of KSQ’s Tulsa office “KSQ’est” (similar to MVP of the year). In addition to her interior design work she has also provided landscape design concepts to KSQ clients as added value. KSQ Associate Jon Pontious, Assoc. AIA, recently sat down with Adriana to ask her about combining her studies in interiors and landscape, and how she’s applied this knowledge to KSQ projects. Jon and Adriana have worked on projects together since college when they were both employed by Oklahoma State University’s Long Range Facilities Planning, and since joining KSQ they’ve worked on numerous student housing projects together. 

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trends

Top 5 Interior Product Trends from Neocon

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I’ve just returned from Neocon–a three day interior design conference attended by over 50,000 design professionals–and stepped back to determine the five biggest trends I saw on display from over 500 different companies at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

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trends

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: ART PROGRAMS IN SENIOR LIVING DESIGN

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When designing senior living programming it’s important to not overlook the importance of including an arts program. National studies show seniors involved in the arts improve physically and mentally. Music therapy, in particular, offers an essential component in dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment plans due to its ability to transport individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia to a different time and place, and help them remember things, events and people buried deep in their memory. The program can use multipurpose space, a specific room or take place during sessions in individual rooms. The technology can be throughout the building, limited to a specific room or as simple as a small, personal music player. While implementation within a community is flexible, the benefits of such programs are clear cut.

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flying machine
culture

Biomimicry: Design Solutions Inspired by Nature

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Nature offers the best design with work typically unseen or noticed on a daily basis. Despite all of the differences between organisms and the complexity of ecosystems, in nature every factor is planned and executed in perfection with all resources maximized. In the human world, we are constantly trying to solve problems in all fields, such as medicine, engineering, psychology, and, of course, architectural and interior design. Our solutions, though, are not always clear or the most efficient. But what would happen if we looked to nature as our inspiration to more sustainable and efficient problem solving?

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KSQ Design solar air heating
culture

Energy Systems and End Users: An Architect’s 30-Year Journey

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We recently installed a solar hot-air collection system at West Patent Elementary, part of the Bedford Central School District, in suburban New York. For this project all the elements for renewable energy came together: a good building sited properly for solar collection, an enlightened Owner willing to invest, and a product able to perform. For me, installation of the solar wall represents the realization of ideas of sustainability more than 30 years in the making.

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community

KSQ K12 OUTREACH: MODELS AND MENTORS

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KSQ has been visiting K12 schools throughout the country for career days and while judging the NAWIC LEGO Block Kids competition recently we met a shy 6th grader named Justin who was one of the top finishers in his bracket. After the competition, Justin’s grandmother approached us to express her gratitude and share her grandson’s interest in the design field. We then coordinated an office visit for both of them to help Justin get a better understanding of the architecture and engineering careers…

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buzz

MEET OUR NEW NATIONAL DESIGN DIRECTOR, MARK MCCARTHY, AIA

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Mark McCarthy, AIA, has joined KSQ Design as principal and the firm’s national design director providing design leadership to the firm across all seven offices and in all market sectors.

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CU Boulder--North Approach
campus

NEW DINING HALL CREATES HUB OF STUDENT COMMUNITY

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Food brings students together–so do breathtaking views. At the University of Colorado Boulder, campus leaders combine these two magnets to create the new Village Center-Dining & Community Commons, a multifaceted project with views of the Flatiron Mountains designed to create a much-needed space for students to come home to in Williams Village. A short fifteen minute walk from the main campus, Williams Village offers an existing tight-knit community but lacks a modern dining facility, student service spaces, and a place for students to claim as their own. KSQ was given the unique opportunity to participate in bringing about the realization of the village model and designing its symbolic heart and center piece.

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culture

Why Design Matters at KSQ.

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Every so often you get an opportunity to re-examine your work from a new perspective. In the last couple of years, that’s exactly what we’ve done at KSQ.

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