Now that I've graduated, I feel like I can finally focus on SixTwelve and I'm excited about all of the experiences coming my way. People have been asking about the project and what is going on, so I thought now might be a good time give an update. We are currently waiting for our next hearing, this time with the Urban Design commission. It's funny how often I've thought that we were ready to move on to renovating the interior. (The exterior is pretty much finished - we just have to paint the front door red, get a new light fixture and fix up the balconies.) I kept thinking, "After this get's approved, we'll be ready to move!" Hahahaha! So naive. But really, it's ok. I've needed the time to focus on finishing up my master's degree and this is just how long it takes when your building is located in an historic preservation district, when you want to do a lot with the property that hasn't been done before, when you have to go through rezoning from residential to urban design, and when you're learning as you go!
Sooooo, if all goes well next month with our hearing, I think we'll be able to move forward with the interior renovations but we'll see what happens. You never know. It would be easy to become impatient or frustrated with the time that it takes to move through all of these requirements, not getting to actually do the work you set out to do for years. One could possibly get bogged down in the red tape and lose faith, but I just see each meeting as an opportunity to tell people who care deeply for OKC about our project and mission. By the time we actually open our doors, we will have been through staff and commission meetings with Historic Preservation, City Planning, Urban Design and the City Council. That's a great thing! I feel like the more people that know about it, the more people we can serve. I've also heard that the Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa took eight years from the time the idea was formed to the opening day. I know that our little building and lot aren't going to provide what they do and that their project is much bigger, but it made me feel better when Ken Busby, the Executive Director and CEO, told me about their timeline. It really does just take as long as it takes.
You have to be flexible and patient and you have to do whatever you can to remove fear from the equation when you are chasing your dreams. I'm getting better in all of those areas. In fact, getting away on that trip to the UK really helped. Since I've been home, I've been much more peaceful and each day I feel like I have more strength and confidence. There's just something about travel that can change your perspective on things, isn't there? When you find yourself outside of your little corner of the world and look back in, you realize how everything is connected and that in each country you visit, every building or park represents someone else's dream that was accomplished. It helps me to have faith in our vision when I see that others have experienced the same process of dreaming, planning, building, and executing programs...and that they succeeded! I feel that way about OKC too. It's such an exciting time to be a part of change in this city. I love it here and want to do whatever I can to contribute to its greatness!
As soon as we get approval for all that we are hoping to do with our building and lot, the interior renovations can begin and I can't tell you how excited I am for that part. I'm one of those weird people that loves to pour over all of the choices in fixtures and appliances. I've been collecting ideas for decor and design for months and can't wait to get started! I have some fun ideas for the apartments and classrooms running through my brain. We're also pretty close to finalizing our board selection and then, once the paper work is complete, we will hopefully get official confirmation of the formation of the 501c3! Then we can really do some good for people. It's exciting to be so close to the tipping point. Things are getting ready to take off! Yessssssss!!!!!!