As the majority of an existing Oklahoma City retail mall sat empty at the intersection of I-35 and I-240, and the local Santa Fe South School System saw the vast space as an opportunity. Student count continues to rise and renovation of an existing space presented itself to be the best cost and time effective solution.
Ultimately the project found a home within a former department store, an area of approximately 68,200 square feet. The school system had a vision of their new school being welcoming, safe, and maintainable for staff. Large collaborative gathering areas were also important to the school. Flexible and moveable furniture was selected to allow easy reconfiguration based on daily needs. The central focal point of the space serves as a multi-purpose room that includes a library, cafeteria, and physical education area. Working within the existing large volumes, the acoustical solutions for gathering spaces were heavily addressed. The use of colored tectum panels provided the sound absorption needed along with encouraging an energetic learning environment. This project marks the third successful adaptive re-use of the retail mall for use by the Santa Fe South Schools, all completed by Beck Design within the last 6 years.