STILLWATER — To anyone who has been in the building in the past 20 years, the renovated Postal Plaza will look entirely different once construction is wrapped up this fall.
But anyone who knew the downtown Stillwater landmark as it looked more than 30 years ago is bound to recognize the inside of the building when it re-opens in the fall, said Mike Buchert, Oklahoma State University's long-range facilities planning director.
OSU is renovating the historic building for use as a gallery to house the university's art collection. Buchert said Thursday that crews are about a third of the way through with construction, and hope to be able to open the building in late September.
OSU officials hope to name a director for the gallery at next week's meeting of the Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University and the A&M Colleges. The board meets Jan. 25 at the OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee.
So far, Buchert said, crews have torn out walls in the building and replaced them with new ones. A new roof for the building is nearly complete, he said.
The building dates back to the 1930s, and, as the name would indicate, originally served as a post office.
The building has changed hands several times since then. About 25 years ago, the building underwent renovations, including walls that divided up a large, open area that was an original feature of the building.
Crews are removing those walls, leaving behind the large, open area that was an original feature of the building, Buchert said.
“It will look very much like it did 30 years ago,” he said.
Renovating a building for use as an art gallery is somewhat different than converting it into offices, Buchert said.
OSU officials brought the proposal to buy and renovate the building to the OSU/A&M Board of Regents in June 2010. At the time, officials told the board the university lacked a good place for storing and displaying its permanent art collection.