June 6, 2013
by Mark Pataky

I can’t believe I’ve already been in Dallas for a month! This Xchange has been awesome.

Tuesday afternoon the education team held a 2 1/2 hour meeting to discuss the 3 school projects we are working on. We reviewed everything from site plans to floor plan modifications and details. Printing the progress set and reviewing as a team was an important exercise to locate problems, propose solutions and assign work. The team’s attention to detail and time spent upfront resolves potential issues before they occur.

Wednesday I visited Heights Preparatory upper school with the team. This high school is nearing completion and is looking great. I always enjoy site visits and seeing how what we do on paper looks and functions in real life. We’ve been using these built details on new projects and it was great to see them in person. The education team has perfected the details and design resulting in a space I found to be an inspiring learning environment with a real sense of community. The exterior design complements its surroundings while maintaining a modern presence. The interior is full of natural light and color. Using relatively inexpensive material gyp board, paint and VCT tile to create a colorful and texture filled learning environment. I left the site impressed and proud to be a part of this team.

Back at the Ranch, we are counting down until the big office move and packing is in full swing. Boxes are everywhere as the office and its contents are either being packed or recycled. The move has prompted a spring cleaning atmosphere and, after seeing the piles of items being sorted and recycled, I believe will result in a leaner, faster, stronger office at One Dallas Center. Personal desk spaces are slowly being boxed up. Filing cabinets are being organized and labeled for the move.

I will miss the brick walls and old charm of the current office. Built in 1924, the space occupies just over 100,000 square feet in a redeveloped office and warehouse complex that once housed a cabinet manufacturer and Breckenridge Brewery. I am excited to see how this move works logistically. How do you move 500 employees, desks and equipment in one weekend? I suggested we shut down McKinney Ave and St Paul Street and simply roll our desks down the street to the new office.