Revised plans submitted for downtown Oklahoma City elementary, garage
Two downtown projects destined to reshape the skyline moved one step closer to construction starting with revised plans approved Wednesday for a new downtown elementary school and a garage that will include apartments and retail.
Construction bids are scheduled to be sought for both the 10-story garage and John Rex Elementary School in January, with construction beginning in April. Both projects are planned for completion by mid-2014.
Board member Mark Beffort then warned that finish-out costs for the space could hit $80 a square foot.
Rick Cain, director of the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, said funding is available to address such costs.
The John Rex Elementary will be built at Sheridan and Walker.
Previous designs for the school, also by TAP Architecture (teamed with Cannon Design), drew concern from the Downtown Design Review Committee that the school's facade was too institutional and didn't fit in with the surrounding neighborhood.
The new designs, overseen by architect Kenneth B. Dennis, now reflect more of the Art Deco features of nearby buildings along W Sheridan Avenue (known as “Film Row”). Dennis said the design also is meant to serve as a transition between the taller, more densely developed Central Business District and the one-story and two-story buildings along Film Row.
The facade includes more windows and openings along Sheridan and Walker, Dennis said, and also includes an opening into the children's play area from Sheridan Avenue.