The building we are looking at for a test fit for the OCU School of Law is currently occupied by the American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company (AFR). They are the latest in of a string of occupants going back to the original use as a high school for Oklahoma City when it was first occupied in 1910. This wasn’t the first time this building was being given consideration for the School of Law. The AFR building was a runner-up to the Fred Jones Manufacturing Plant when it was being considered for a downtown home.
In order to get a handle on a test fit for the school of law we needed to get a handle on the size and layout of the AFR Building. FSB’s involvement in the Due Diligence effort to determine the feasible repurposing of the AFR building would include:
- Program Update and Layout consisting of programming verification meetings and test plan layouts of the 5 levels of the AFR building.
- Record Drawing Development that involved taking field measurements and the development of electronic floor plans.
- Engineering Systems Review where existing mechanical and electrical systems and equipment would be reviewed to determine current condition, usable life and their use into a design solution for the law school.
- Estimated Renovation Budget to determine the cost of modifications the building needed to house the school of law.
When first repurposed from a high school to an office building in 1984 to house the operations of then Bell Telephone Company, the quality of renovation was for premium office space. The renovations included introducing 4 elevators one in each quadrant of the building and opening up 4 major light wells that connected the 5 levels of the building. The 1st thru 4th levels are also connected by an opening in the middle of the building by a combination of what what had previously been the auditorium and balcony spaces along with newly created openings.
The real estate offerings report for the AFR building outlined some 170,000+ in the building. When calculated floor by floor the breakdown in rounded numbers is:
- 1st Floor; 23,000 sf
- 2nd thru 5th Floors; 37,000 sf each
The actual usable square footage was more challenging to calculate with all the open light wells, open floor connections, 5 elevators (including one freight elevator), stair wells, restrooms and mechanical/electrical space. We would have to interpolate all these factors into seeing if the basic space needs for the school of law could be met.