WYK Wins Big at Annual AIA-WV Design Awards Gala

WYK Associates, Inc. was honored with three Merit Design Awards at the 35th Annual American Institute of Architects-West Virginia Gala held in Charleston, WV, on April 13, 2013. The award winning designs included: Fairmont State University’s Frank and Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center and the Shinnston Community Center, Shinnston, WV.

Fairmont State University’s Frank and Jane Gabor Folklife Center, in Fairmont, WV, received two Merit Design Awards for Achievement in Architecture; one for overall design and one for interior design. The 6,900 square foot facility was restored by WYK Associates, Inc. of Clarksburg.

The project is located on Squibb Wilson Boulevard on the west side of Fairmont State University’s main campus. The folklife center was constructed in 1903 by Michael Kennedy and is the last remaining vestige of the Kennedy’s dairy farm. In 1941 the original barn was converted to apartments; floor framing, dormers, and field stone facade were added to create three levels of apartments. The building had been seriously compromised by years of neglect and fire damage. Due to the building’s history and notable residents, it was decided that it would be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. After developing an architectural program for the Folklife Program, WYK Associates, Inc. decided to remove a floor from the existing structure and create a first floor classroom area, and a second floor “Great Room” which would restore the open structure of the barn and provide both exhibit and multi-use space.

The restoration brought the building into compliance with modern building codes and the total cost for the project was $1, 370,000.00. The project was completed in September 2011.

William E. Yoke, Jr., AIA NCARB served as the project architect for the building.

The Shinnston Community Center in Shinnston WV, received the Merit Design Award for Achievement in Architecture for Unbuilt Work. WYK Associates Inc. designed this 17,500 square foot building as a welcoming hub into the City of Shinnston. It should be completed by the summer of 2015. The importance of the building as a cultural icon and embracing structure into the city are the most exciting characteristics of the building. As a new construction, the building has been designed fully compliant with ADA requirements and comfort in mind. Further, the buildings architecture uses passive solar design, innovative technology and locally sourced materials to provide optimal natural light and ventilation, and provide a minimal carbon footprint.

The Shinnston Community Center entrance tethers around the corners of Main Street and Pike Street in downtown Shinnston, where the former Rice Theater building stood. This juxtaposition of site forms a unique plaza, with the hopes of providing a welcoming environment to the building’s inhabitants. When you walk over the pavers in the circular “embrace” the pattern replicates a grist mill, reflective of Shinnston’s milling history. Further prevalent historic icons are hidden in the building’s architecture, including the cantilevered shading structure and deck which the architect revealed to be a symbol of strength and resilience for the town that survived the 1944 deadly Shinnston tornado. Saw-mill blade, shaped semi-circular windows elaborate on the history of continuous mining. In the waiting area, reclaimed chairs from the previous building, the Rice Theater, were preserved and used.

The Shinnston Community Center will serve as a performing arts center, a look out for downtown events such as parades, etc. Further, a much needed large banquet hall, accommodating 350 people, will provide the city with much needed gathering space for meetings and community organizations including health programs and other enrichment activities. There is also a room solely dedicated to the Shinnston Senior Citizens, and another additional meeting room. The upper level of the building serves as the city administration offices and Council Chambers.

James B. Swiger, AIA NCARB, LEED AP served as the design architect for the building.

“We are very honored to have received 3 of the 8 awards given this year by AIA-WV in the entire state” said James Swiger, the company’s president.