June 1, 2022 | By: Journal Record Staff
The Oklahoma City Convention Center has been named by ULI Oklahoma as its 2022 Outstanding Public Initiative.
The mission of ULI, which stands for Urban Land Institute, is to shape the future of “built environments” to have a transformative impact on communities worldwide. The convention center, a MAPS 3 project of Oklahoma City and city taxpayers, was honored as part of ULI Oklahoma’s recent eighth annual Impact Awards.
As the largest single project in the history of the city of Oklahoma City, the $293 million MAPS 3 Convention Center was completed in December 2020 on time, under budget and debt-free, the organization noted in a news release. At more than double the size of the aging Cox Convention Center, the OklahomaCity Convention Center significantly increased the city’s capacity for hosting meetings and conventions.
MAPS Program Manager David Todd described the MAPS 3 Convention Center, located east of Scissortail Park along Robinson Avenue between SW Fourth and SW Seventh streets, as both historic and transformative.
“During construction, four other massive projects were built adjacent to the site including the OKC Streetcar, ScissortailPark, Omni Hotel and Oklahoma CityBoulevard,” he noted. “As a result, we’ve transformed our downtown and created a gathering place for residents and visitors to enjoy for generations to come.”
The convention center’s 500,000-square-foot interior includes a 200,730-square-foot exhibit hall on the first floor, which is divisible into four halls. About 45,000square feet of highly flexible meeting space is available on all levels of the building. Different rooms can be configured up to 27 different ways. Additionally, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom features a large balcony overlooking Scissortail Park. A 9,700-square-foot “junior ballroom” is located on the third floor.
Kirk Mammen, a vice president at Flintco, said the company was fortunate to have been part of construction of the center.
“The Oklahoma City Convention Center is one of those career projects that transforms the cityscape and provides extensive value to the Oklahoma City community,” he said.
In its release, ULI Oklahoma also made note of a $1.5 million public art installation, “Virtual Sky,” identified with the convention center. The artwork features small LED lights that can be programmed for specific patterns or to reflect a changing sky.
Convention Center team members included the city of Oklahoma City, Populous, Flintco, ADG and GSB, the organization said.
“ULI Oklahoma’s Impact Awards recognize projects that exemplify best practices in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities,” the release noted.“Finalists represent those projects and initiatives that were determined to best promote the creation of resilient communities, intelligent densification and urbanization, as well as outstanding quality of design and construction. A diverse panel of judges experienced inland use and development scored the finalists in terms of the project’s success in contributing to walkability, creating or reinforcing a sense of place, and additional measures, including criteria appropriate to specific categories, such as excellence in preservation, degree of difficulty, and community significant impact.”