Tulsa leaders want to fix these notable buildings in the city
TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa city leaders are looking to pass a ballot initiative to fund much-needed building improvements throughout the city.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and city councilors took a tour of those buildings on Wednesday. They include Tulsa’s Fire and Police Headquarters, the Performing Arts Center, and Tulsa Municipal Court.
Tulsa’s fire headquarters is currently in a floodplain. When the water gets too high, Chief Michael Baker and his team need to stack their belongings on top of desks and move fire trucks off-site.
Bynum posted a photo Thursday of Tulsa Police Chief Wendall Franklin holding a bottle of brown faucet water, which happens frequently at police headquarters. Plus – the elevators used to transport inmates regularly breaks down.
Down at Tulsa Municipal Court, Bynum said the ceiling leaks and staff need to put down buckets during court sessions. Tulsa resident Connor Swan says it’s not a good look as the city continues to grow.
“Growth and development are something every city needs and you can’t do that on a bad foundation,” Swan said.
To cover the cost of repairs, approximately $115 million could be available through a general obligation bond, which Bynum said would not raise the tax rate. The Tulsa Performing Arts Center is in especially bad shape.
CEO Mark Frie says it’s not conducive to being a world-class facility. For instance, the dressing rooms are small, dirty and outdated.
“It’s a daily struggle in our building,” Frie told 2 News.
The Tulsa Performing Arts Center was built in the 1970s. It flooded twice in the last few years from broken water and sewer lines.
Frie says it becomes a safety hazard for guests sitting in the middle of Chapman Hall without isles. He says if there were an evacuation, it would take a while for guests to get out.
Like many residents, Swan is on board with the changes.
“It’s pretty simple. If stuff’s broken, you need to fix it.”
Frie believes it’s going to take private and public dollars to make it happen at the PAC.
“With renovation and expanding, you’re talking $250,000,000 to do it all,” Frie said.
Bynum says he wants to develop a ballot initiative over the next few months to address deferred maintenance issues in the city without tax increases.
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