the garret

What’s top of mind at KSQ

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Student housing gives new life to a 100-year-old building.

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Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) is known for world-class academic instruction, a nearly 100% career placement rate and their partnerships with both industry and the community. In an effort to improve its campus community–while also supporting the growth of downtown Okmulgee, OK, OSUIT purchased two connecting buildings on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and Fifth Street in historic downtown Okmulgee. The buildings were transformed by KSQ Design and Sikes Abernathie Architects (SAA) into 11 loft-style and 26 flat-style apartments offered as an off-campus living option for up to 76 students.

KSQ and SAA’s design features high ceilings on the main floor and 11 loft-style living spaces with two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom, kitchen and living room downstairs. The first level also offers seven loft-style apartments. The design includes light wells cutting into the building to provide natural light for the units and individual bedrooms, an outdoor patio area, a lobby with nooks, community kitchen and laundry, a lounge and an office and living suite for an on-site manager. The design for the second floor features flat-style apartment homes with living rooms, two bedrooms, a bathroom and one unit that has four bedrooms.

Like most renovations, this one presented unique challenges and opportunities for the design team. These “before” photos give you an idea of the state of the building when our team got ahold of it (click “show thumbnails” to advance through the slideshows, below).

The transformation was celebrated during a ribbon cutting and open house–the community was invited to come check out Okmulgee’s new gem for OSUIT students. Elements of the original building’s character are still in place, but the spaces are fresh and relevant for modern-day student living.

A big kudos to Kim, Adriana, our clients at OSU, partners at SAA and Oakridge Builders for a great team effort!

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The Block Kids: KSQ’s Latest LEGO Education Effort

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It’s fair to say KSQ staff relish an opportunity to play with LEGOs and encourage a fondness in others for the classic building blocks. We’ve created an original bilingual LEGO STEM classroom program and recently had the opportunity to judge a Block Kids competition. The national LEGO building competition is hosted by the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and aims to introduce K-6 school children to the AEC industry. Members of our Charlotte office judged a local competition and helped select students to move on to the regional (and hopefully national) level. The event showed us what students could design and create using 100 LEGO blocks, a piece of string, and aluminum foil within a 40 minute time frame.

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Reclaiming the Res Hall: A Student Housing Before & After Story

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Colby Hall is an all-female residence hall built in 1957 and KSQ’s latest completed project at Texas Christian University (TCU). The project was completed in time for students to return to the building this fall and they’ve quickly created a new Colby community in the hall. But getting them there required a complete gutting of the building and taking the space from 1957 to 2015 in student life design. Here’s how our team did it:

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KSQ Makes the List

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KSQ recently received top industry rankings based on staff satisfaction and revenue growth – and we couldn’t be prouder.

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This Multipurpose Dining Hall Knows How to Multi-task

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The KSQ designed Multipurpose Dining Hall is now open on the Texas Christian University (TCU) campus, and the 39,200 SF building takes its “multipurpose” title seriously. The space offers multiple dining platforms, an outdoor amphitheater, Greek Life offices, meeting spaces and multiple areas to study, socialize, watch TV or recharge-one’s self or one’s electronic devices. It’s just the “multipurpose” needed for today’s busy college student.

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Addition to elementary school makes an entrance.

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A new addition to an elementary school in South Carolina creates a dramatic entrance for parents and students, centralizes administrative offices and creates much-needed classroom spaces.

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Residential college model the focus here at SMU

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Student housing on a grand scale is the defining characteristic of the new Residential & Dining Commons at Southern Methodist University. The sheer scope of the project—1,250 beds in five residence halls, a 500-seat dining commons and an 800-car parking structure – is massive, even by Texas standards. But the detailed Georgian-style architecture paired with high-quality materials, including slate roofing, brick and high-performance glass also contribute to the impressive nature of this project that opened to students in August.

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Edison Groundbreaking in Tulsa: Taking preparatory to a whole new level

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Sure, it was about 36 degrees this morning but the excitement about the new Collegiate Center at Edison Preparatory School was motivating enough to draw a crowd of supporters out on the school’s lawn to break ground on the project. It wasn’t just a quick “it’s cold outside event” either. No, this had to be celebrated right so we brought in the marching band and pom squad and took the time to recognize the goal of the project–we’re taking preparatory to a whole new level, and the groundbreaking ceremony had to be taken to a whole new level as well.

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