Last month, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Oklahoma recognized OSU Institute of Technology and Oakridge Builders, the contracting company for the Grand Old Post Office Student Housing building, at their annual Excellence in Construction Awards Banquet.
The project took the first place award in the Institutional $5 to $10 million category.
The Grand Old Post Office, or GOPO, was originally a two-building complex on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and Fifth Street constructed in 1918 and 1919.
OSUIT purchased the two-story complex in 2015 in order to renovate Okmulgee’s former Post Office and Barksdale apartment building into student housing.
OSUIT President Bill R. Path attended the awards banquet Oct. 26 and was happy to see the project and Oakridge Builders, a division of Flintco, honored.
“The judges recognized what a unique project this was,” Path said. “It’s very gratifying especially for Oakridge Builders to be recognized by their peers.”
Brian Park, job superintendent at Flintco, said the project has really been a team effort between the construction company, architects and OSUIT.
“It’s a great honor to receive the ABC award. This project has been very challenging as well as fulfilling,” Park said. “This is a project I will be truly proud of today and many coming years.”
With crews finishing up the building, the Grand Old Post Office is set to have its grand opening Nov. 28.
The hard work of so many over the past year is now coming to fruition, Park said, and he is happy to see the project coming to a close.
“I’m sure it’s similar to an artist starting with a blank canvas and now a beautiful piece of work has emerged,” he said. “This is a shining example of incredible vision from KSQ Design; perfect intentions from OSUIT; and very hard, painstaking, carefully precise and, at times, knuckle-busting work from Oakridge Builders and their subcontractors that will stand for years to come.”
But unlike a lot of student housing projects, the architects and contractors weren’t working with a completely blank canvas. They had to contend with a nearly century-old building and all the challenges and obstacles that come with renovating a building that age.
“I am most proud of seeing the 100-year-old building on its last leg come back to life,” Park said. “Not only providing incredible and unique housing for the students at OSUIT, but also for the community as a whole. Okmulgee Rising has seen a great partner in OSUIT, and I am very proud to be a part of this undertaking.”
After the win at the Oklahoma chapter of ABC, the project will move on to compete in the national Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Awards in March 2018.
“We’ll be in the running for a national award,” Path said. “I assume the competition will be just as tough.”