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OKC's Neighborhood Services Organization prepares for a new home at old address

The Neighborhood Services Organization’s new 9,800-square-foot building in Oklahoma City is designed to fit in with surrounding buildings, including the old Riverside School.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: August 19, 2014
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photo - The Neighborhood Services Organization is set to build a new home where its old one stood at 431 SW 11, just south of the Oklahoma River in the Riverside neighborhood.  Drawing provided
The Neighborhood Services Organization is set to build a new home where its old one stood at 431 SW 11, just south of the Oklahoma River in the Riverside neighborhood. Drawing provided

Neighborhood Services Organization, a social anchor for the Riverside neighborhood for 96 years, will build a $1.9 million home while retaining its decades-old address.

Stacey Ninness, the agency’s director, said site work began this month with construction to begin within the next few weeks.

“It’s where we started in 1920 — we’ve been a fabric of the neighborhood,” Ninness said. “We never considered any other location.”

When the agency hired architect Kenyon Morgan, he initially was commissioned to see if the former Methodist church building at 431 SW 11, built in 1916, could be renovated and expanded.

“There were seven different floor levels,” Morgan said. “Bringing it to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards would have required 40 percent of the building space. Trying to get an elevator to each floor and making it accessible was more costly than building a new structure.”

The building, which Morgan said had been stripped of historical features decades ago, was torn down earlier this year.

The new 9,800-square-foot building is designed to fit in with surrounding historic buildings that include the old Riverside School, which is now home to the Latino Development Agency, and the Little Flower Catholic Church, Morgan said.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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