Part of exploring the opportunities of the Fred Jones Manufacturing Plant for the transformation into a loft law school involved revisiting the space needs program for the OCU School of Law. While FSB had created an in depth evaluation of needs as a part of developing the Master Plan for the law school on the OCU campus, 5 years had passed since that effort and before this downtown opportunity presented itself. The academic program for the school had continued to evolve over those years, there were new needs based on being in a downtown location and the nature of library design was taking a new turn with the increasing advancement of technology and the expanded use of the internet.
While we began to reassess the spaced needs of a possible downtown law school we also continued to study the demographics and context of site location.
So what does a law school consist of? While there are elements and programs that may be unique to an individual law school, they have a lot of commonality in their makeup. This is the macro composition and anatomy of OCU law.
- Administration; Dean’s office, associates deans, administrative support, conference space
- Student Services; Registrar, dean of students, support space
- Admissions; Most law schools are autonomous from their associated university and operate their own admission operation
- Career Services
- Academic Space; Classrooms, large and small moot courtrooms
- Special Programs; Unique to OCU law is the NALRC (Native Am. Law Review Center)
- Student Organizations
- Support Space; Faculty lounge, student lounge, event space (for dinners, awards banquets, etc.), student study space and soft seating areas
- Law Library
From the original master plan program to the downtown program the space needs grew by 20-25%. While the law school in general grew, due to the trend of libraries the law library shrank by 10-15%. New space needs that joined the program included:
- Clinical suite
The updated program of space needs now totaled 155,763 square feet. The available square footage in the existing Fred Jones Manufacturing Plant is approximately 144,172 square feet. We needed to go through a program validation effort to see where we may have excess program and needs.
Parallel to analyzing the program of needs, and analyzing the site we were also looking at the potential historic nature of the Fred Jones Manufacturing Building. Because of its age and significance, the building is likely eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. While the Fred Jones Manufacturing Building was a candidate for the National Register, it had not achieved that status to date. If we could work towards it being registered, there would be significant tax credits that could be an important component of the funding feasibility for the project. We set our sights on uncovering this opportunity.