The Project

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) is known for world-class teaching facilities, a nearly 100% career placement rate and their partnerships with industry. In an effort to improve its campus community–while also supporting the downtown area and the OkmulgeeRising movement–OSUIT purchased two connecting buildings on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and Fifth Street in historic downtown Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The buildings, the former Grand Old Post Office and the Barksdale Bell Block Building, was transformed by KSQ Design into loft style apartments and flats and offered as an off-campus living option to OSUIT students whom are 21 and older.

Keeping historic features intact while creating modern spaces for today’s student lifestyles was key to the project’s success. Exposed brick throughout the project, repurposed sliding doors and skylights as well as keeping the antique mailboxes for students were design features that let the building’s history remain. Murals inside and out depict life in the area and underscore the building’s former life as a post office. The main level features high ceilings in the 11 loft-style apartments with two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom, kitchen and living room downstairs. Downstairs also offers seven flat-style apartments. The design also 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 second floor features 18-flat-style apartment homes with living rooms, two bedrooms, a bathroom and one unit that has four bedrooms. The building supports up to 76 student beds total.

The Details

Project Type: Historic Renovation
Project Size: 35,507 SF of Residential Space | 76 Beds
Completed: 2017
Client: Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
Services: Planning, Programming, Architecture and Interior Design

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