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SFS Architecture Shares Perspective on King Louie Building Renovation

It’s hard to imagine that a former bowling alley and ice skating rink will be the new home of The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center sometime in the first quarter of 2017. Vacated in 2009, the Johnson County Government purchased the building in 2011, later recruiting SFS Architecture to handle the renovation.

Using its signature collaborative approach in working with key stakeholders, principal Marsha Hoffman said her company was able to ensure that the design of the new space would enrich all the people, organizations and communities impacted by it including the city of Overland Park, the Overland Park Historical Society, Johnson County Museum and Johnson County Park & Recreation district.

The facility will be a reflection of the city’s heritage and support a stronger connection with the community especially for a new generation of residents. It will hold more than one million photographs and 18,000 3-D artifacts while providing additional space for even more exhibits.

Hoffman said her team feels a tremendous responsibility to design a facility that will stand the test of time and be economical to operate by using durable materials that enhance the beauty of the original iconic building while bringing it up to code.

The key is to refresh the King Louie building and bring it back to life while making renovations and improvements that must be completed before the grand opening. “It’s a balancing act between keeping the original design in place and retrofitting for modern needs,” said Hoffman.

She told KMBZ the project started with a building evaluation. Her team took a hard look at existing conditions to see what repairs or maintenance was needed. One critical factor they had to consider is the mechanical and electrical system. From there SFS was able to determine if structurally the needed modifications could be made.

“A lot of times with older buildings some aspects may be non-compliant with building codes or the Americans with Disabilities Act. We evaluate all of that and then assign a cost to getting it up to code.” This directly impacts energy costs for example. Sometimes during this phase of the project SFS will conclude that it’s going to be more cost effective to relocate to another building or demolish it and start from scratch.

It is even more challenging to project costs over a long project lifespan but SFS, having won awards for preservation of historic buildings, has a strong track record of doing so with a high level of accuracy.

To listen: KingLouieBuildingRenovation


Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Move Series | July 16, 2016