Category Archives: Guests

Local Beta – revisiting a bygone era

The Artesian

The Artesian Hotel was for many decades only a memory of a bygone era until the Chickasaw Nation decided it was time to recreate it on its original site. During its early days, the hotel was used as the Summer White House for Oklahoma’s first Governor Charles Haskell. The hotel was also a popular destination for prestigious guests that included John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans to name a few.

The Artesian Hotel which first opened as the Winston Hotel in 1906 and was the brainchild of J.M Bayless and C.J. Webster who wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the natural springs that were a part of the new national park land that became known as Platt National Park. A significant number of interior pieces and furnishings used in the hotel came from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The Artesian was in its hay day in the 20’s and 30’s and Platt National Park was only second to Yellowstone National Park in annual attendance. Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players – Take Eight

Lowe Runkle -  Project Architect-Construction Administrator

interview by Fred Schmidt

Lowe Runkle is a licensed architect at FSB and has been directly involved in the Chickasaw Visitor Center project in two key roles; one as Project Architect and the other as Construction Administrator.

Let’s reflect back on the project to the point when you found out you would be working on the Chickasaw Visitor Center. What were your thoughts at that time? Continue reading

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Filed under Guests, LEED ®

Tracking LEED Credits – guest post / take one

 Derek and staff

I was recently contacted by a lady named Aundraya Ruse regarding the FSB Blog. She is with a company that provides software advice to clients and shared a recent article her company published about software tools that can help construction contractors track activities to properly achieve each LEED point for their project. I took a look and it was an interesting article. Our continued correspondence led to discussions about having them as a guest author on the FSB Blog.

She introduced me to Derek Singleton/ERP Analyst at Software Advice and we eventually had a telephone interview. He only had one photo of himself, so in order to make it into a collage I took the liberties of taking an Andy Warhol approach to manipulating the singular photo in my possession (sorry Aundraya). So here’s my interview with Derek. Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players-Take Seven

Chris Willis

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Getting to Know the Players-Take Seven

Chris Willis is one of the structural engineers on the Visitor Center project. You previously met Tom Bush also a structural engineer. Chris’s greater area of expertise and focus for project is the structural steel.

Chris, recap for the followers what your role is on this project.

Chris: My role is to take care of the superstructure, complete the plan sheets and work out the most important details for the purpose of detailing the structure.

Now that you have been working on the project and it’s under construction, what do you think about the project in general? Continue reading

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In The Spirit of Past Present Future

Happy Holidays to All and Wishes of a Peaceful New Year

Past-Present-Future slide 1

The holiday season tends to bring about joyful reflection on the year, spiritual celebrations and with the coming of the New Year, thoughts about what lays ahead. The Visitor Center Blog has been tracking what we believe is a special project in the making. We have been sharing with you each week a look into the challenges, successes and progress of the project. We have been sharing the process of achieving LEED Gold certification. We have progressed from a Vision with the Chickasaw Nation to being under construction and you have met a number of players along the way. This is the trail we have traveled. Continue reading

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Filed under Background, Construction, Design, Guests, Interior, LEED ®, Materials

Getting to Know the Players – Take Six

Justin Woolverton Interview

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Justin Woolverton is the Project Manager for Flintco (construction company) on the Chickasaw Visitor Center project. He is basically responsible for running the overall project day to day at the site.

So Justin, this is a pretty cool project.

Justin: Yeah, even Mark Grimes (president of Flintco Oklahoma City) has told us that per square foot this is the highest budget job that Flintco has ever done, maybe all of Flintco. So that right there gives you an inkling of what we are into. We are only talking 8500 square feet. Square footage wise, it’s not that big of a job. Even site wise, there’s not a lot of site work. So there’s a lot packed in there into a small space. But I think once it gets done, it’ll be something we can all be proud of; proud to be a part of you know.

Preliminary Design Exterior Views

You have somebody who takes care of the LEED side of things on the project? Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players – Take Five

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Today you will meet one of the structural engineers on the project. Designing the structure became a tag team affair as we worked through getting the project completed within the owner’s timeframe. Tom Bush, P.E., Ph.D. is a senior structural engineer at FSB. A pretty calm and easy-going guy but according the Cathleen he can toss back some serious snacks.

Tom, tell us about your role on the project?

Tom: I came in a little later in the project. A lot of the systems had been decided. I worked from the slabs down on the foundations. Checking wall strengths, detailing rebar, sizing the footings and designing the elevated floor system of the Gallery area over the mechanical crawl space; the slab on deck. The other thing was the lateral load system; the sheer walls and the elevator core and getting the foundations properly sized for those.

What’s the purpose of a sheer wall? Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players – Take Four

Interview by Fred Schmidt

I was recently at the AIA Oklahoma State Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma gathering “continuing education units” (CEU’s) that are needed for architects to maintain their professional license. This was a 2 day event where you could sock away 12 CEU’s which equates to one year’s worth of credits. The convention is typically accompanied by a Trade Show where vendors, consultants, suppliers and contractor types have set up booths and share information regarding their product or company with the attendees of the convention.

While touring the booths, I came across a product that looked very familiar. Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players – Take Three

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Here’s an introduction to another one of the players on the FSB team; Naby Gharajeh (garra-jay). He’s a Senior Electrical Engineer, fairly quiet, doesn’t make waves but he has a great laugh. He’s down to earth and takes his engineering very seriously.

So, tell the followers what your role is, your input to the project.

Naby: I was basically the project electrical engineer. It was my role to design the building’s electrical system, lighting, communication and data systems, power to the mechanical equipment and anything architectural; the basic electrical system that any building requires. There was some work involved as far as the site was concerned; and lighting protection.

What made you decide to become an electrical engineer, what was your path towards being that?

Naby: Wow… ha!

Did you always know, like when you were a kid? Continue reading


Filed under Design, Guests

Groundbreaking – a celebration of life

Groundbreaking – a celebration of life. become a follower

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