Sunday, August 31, 2008
The first of OKC's new MAPS high schools to open was Douglass, located off of MLK Blvd and NE 10th. The high school, which was established in the late 1800s in NE OKC, covers the downtown area in its district today and has been completely rebuilt and reopened in 2005. For $32 mil, the Douglass accommodates 1,200 students, has 81 classrooms, features a cafeteria, media center, 1,800-seat gym, and a theater/auditorium center. It also has a brand-new football stadium finished in 2006.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The smallest of all MAPS 1 projects, $5 million was spent on rubber trolleys that circulate passengers and tourists around the Downtown/Bricktown area. Service has been ongoing since 1999.
Interestingly, this aspect of MAPS was originally planned by Mayor Norick to be full-blown light rail. Funding for that however was stripped by Congressman Earnest Istook who opposed light rail for OKC and refused to send any federal funding its way. Luckily the City today is ready to proceed with full-blown light rail and we anticipate a light rail announcement with MAPS 3 at the end of this year. The original MAPS 1 light rail line would have been 1 mile on the elevated BNSF tracks and then expand out from there. Pictured is a rendering of the proposed stop at 2nd Street.
For $89.9 mil dollars the City's crowning MAPS 1 project was the Ford Center, which has brought unbridled prosperity to OKC when it opened in 2002. It seats about 21,000 and has 586,000 SF. Not only is the Ford Center a top-grossing concert venue, but it also hosted the NBA's Hornets for 2 years, many trade shows, the CHL's OKC Blazers, the AFL's OKC Yard Dawgz, OKC's new permanent NBA team, and is in a rotation with KC for the Big XII Basketball Tourney.
Other than hosting the RedHawks, it plays host to Bedlam Baseball every year, the Big XII Baseball Tournament every year, major concerts, Bricktown's 4th of July, and other major events that bring thousands into Bricktown frequently.