American Airlines & Tulsa: Working Together
The American Maintenance and Engineering for bankruptcy and were selling off their As a result of voter approval authorizing
Center, which has been located in Tulsa for 60 maintenance facilities. It was clear the same Vision 2025 funding, a number of products
years, employs 6,945 people and impacts an thing could happen in Tulsa. have been brought to the Tulsa Base or
additional 12,084 jobs in the surrounding transferred here from other American
communities. American purchases $72 million Maintenance Centers to aid with employee
annually from local vendors and suppliers, retention. These products range from engines,
and has a total economic impact of about landing gears and components to entire fleets
$2 billion. of aircraft.
The Tulsa base is the largest private aircraft In early 2004, Tulsa executives and union
maintenance facility in the world. It’s a full- officials launched the “Working Together”
service aircraft repair and overhaul facility that process. The strategy is to use a permanent
hosts tremendous capabilities and can collaborative structure to allow the company,
manufacture, repair and overhaul many of Vision 2025 Sales Tax Overview Committee unions, and frontline employees to function as
its own landing gears, engines, components visit projects at American Airlines. true business partners. This process provides
and airframes. County officials were already working on a the means for cooperative teaming on business
program, yet to be named, that would provide objectives from daily decisions to annual
What if it disappeared? tax dollars to fund Tulsa County economic budgets. The goal they’ve set is to lead the
As all airlines struggled following 9/11, development initiatives which, as a public Tulsa Base to become a profit center and
American Airlines, the world’s largest airline program, became Vision 2025. When offered to achieve $500 million in cost savings and
and the largest private employer in Oklahoma, voters as a “stand alone” choice, Proposition 2 revenue by the end of 2006. At this writing, it
was not immune. In early 2003 American for Capital Improvements/American Airlines appears they will make that goal.
officials and the general public knew the provided $22.3 million (2.5% of a penny) to
company was on the verge of bankruptcy. City, retain existing jobs and attract new ones at the Continued on page 2
county and state officials approached American Tulsa Base by providing funds for capital
to see what they could do to help. improvements, equipment and tooling.
Internally, American was working to
significantly cut operating costs and four
aircraft fleets (types of airplanes) were retired.
Without this work, more than 2,200 jobs at the
Tulsa Maintenance and Engineering Center
were in jeopardy as was Tulsa’s most
significant private employer. American
executives, the Transport Workers Union, and
frontline employees shared with elected
officials a number of things that could be done
to bring additional work to Tulsa to preserve
these jobs, but retooling was costly and
American had no available capital.
City, county and state officials recognized
the positive impact American had on the local
economy and realized what would happen if the
airline minimized or ceased operations here.
Several other legacy carriers had already filed
American Airlines continued
Currently, all funds from Vision 2025 units, which include Flight Management
issued to American have been assigned to Computers, Auto Throttle Computers, Traffic “American now has
specific projects. Incredibly, most of these have Alert and Collision Avoidance Systems, ATC
been completed under budget. As a result, Air Traffic Control Transponders, and various new technologies and
additional items are now being reviewed to
utilize these funds made available through
Navigation/Communication transceivers. With
acquisition of the two IRIS 2000 Automated
capabilities that allow us
under-spending. American takes this program Test stands, American has been successful at to in-source many of our
very seriously and scrutinizes every project in-sourcing several avionics units that were
carefully. Each project must meet stringent previously serviced elsewhere. American is own components and
criteria for return on investment or operational
need. If a project doesn’t make the cut, it is not
now realizing significant savings and
aggressively pursuing new customers for this
attract outside customer
included. In short, the objective is spending additional capability. work as well.”
each penny wisely. Steve Glime, American Airlines Manager
of Product Support and the on-site Vision
A Sampling of American’s Projects 2025 Project Manager
Funded by Vision 2025
CFM56 Gantry: $2,809,722
“American now has new technologies and
This unique locally engineered system for
capabilities that allow us to in-source
disassembly, repair and assembly of engines
many of our own components and attract
was designed by Tulsa employees. It provides
outside customer work as well. The
American the ability to bring those engines
equipment purchased through Vision 2025
in-house. The engine overhaul business is very
Gene Beaver operating the 5-axis Router. has provided a significant boost for our
competitive, and changes are required as fleets
Tulsa employees and we are all extremely
mature through their life cycle. Within the 5-axis Router – Plastic Shop: $287,938 grateful for what the company and
industry, this is a young engine program in With this unit, American now produces community have done together.”
common use worldwide, powering many fleets many of its own cabin and interior parts in a The transformation of the Tulsa Base
which provides for much opportunity. To fraction of the time. As a result, they expect to from cost center to profit center appears
capitalize on this, a team of mechanics in Tulsa save over $1 million annually on parts. to be working with the help of Tulsa
designed a system capable of producing 500
County Voters who approved Vision 2025.
engines annually, at competitive cost Paint Booth Expansion and Ventilation: $674,025 While most airlines have off-loaded their
targets and world-class turn times. Vision 2025 With 737 out-of-warranty work and thrust heavy maintenance work, American, by
funds made this team’s creative ideas a reality. reversers from the 757 fleet, shop volumes truly choosing a different path, has kept
have nearly doubled this year and additional this work in Tulsa and stabilized Oklahoma’s
capacity meeting EPA regulations was needed. largest employer while positioning the
company, work force and the community
for future gro w t h .
According to Steve Glime, American
Airlines Manager of Product Support and the
on-site Vision 2025 Project Manager,
G i l b e rt Sanchez at the ATEC 6 Avionics
ATEC 6: $1,983,278
The ATEC 6 is an Avionics test stand for
American’s 737 and 777 Digital Flight Data
displays. This equipment has provided
American with the technology they needed to
in-source these and other cockpit instrument
repairs. As a result, American is saving
approximately $40,000 on every unit
IRIS 2000 RF ATE and IRIS 2000 TCAS:
$1,976,000 and $1,039,099, respectively.
The IRIS 2000s are test stands for 737, Jim Jespersen runs tests
757, 767, 777, MD80, and A300 Avionics on the IRIS 2000 RF ATE.
2 VISION 2025 REPORT
Oklahoma Aquarium: “The aquarium is truly an authentic scientific
accomplishment,” Bramsch said. “We have the
largest bull sharks in captivity – anywhere in the
AVision 2025 Project?
world – and we’re working with the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on
research projects.” NOAA research provides early
warning of dangerous weather conditions develop-
Fresh water that gently meanders down the e v e ry day they give directions to restaurants, ing over the oceans. The NOAA’s National Data
Arkansas River through Tulsa County wasn’t shopping centers, and the airport. They really serve Buoy Center utilizes the Oklahoma Aquarium
always so unhurried. It once splashed down as a catalyst to send visitors out into Tulsa County.” sharks to test “bite proof” cables used for weather
mountainsides, raced along Colorado trout “I don’t think people realize that this isn’t just a buoys vital to the study of weather patterns. If not
streams, and carved its way through deep valleys. Tulsa County attraction,” Bramsch said. “We stronger than a shark bite, expensive buoys and
From its icy beginnings, the journey is far from receive visitors from all 50 states. In the month of
over in Tulsa as it will continue to weave its way to June alone, we had visitors from 38 countries – “We receive visitors
the Mississippi River, spilling into the Gulf of and that’s just one month. So the Aquarium truly is
Mexico and out into the open sea. The Oklahoma a tourism destination and good for economic from all 50 states. In the
Aquarium is the story of this water told through the
beautiful and diverse life forms it sustains.
The Oklahoma Aquarium is credited with
month of June alone, we
Did you know the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks significant and numerous unique contributions to had visitors from 38
is a Vision 2025 project? Proposition 4 included science. From display concept and design to
$12 million to support the facility. Susan Bramsch, animal husbandry, the Aquarium staff has estab- countries – and that’s
Chief Operating Officer/Director, said, “Vision 2025
has been instrumental in helping to secure our
lished a reputation for innovation. The Discovery
Channel, Dateline NBC, and the British
just one month.”
Susan Bramsch, Chief Operating
future. While the Aquarium was already built, it is Broadcasting Company have all filmed inside the
partially but importantly capitalized with Vision Oklahoma Aquarium. Scientific innovations include
2025 funds.” design of unique filtration components to reduce
“The Aquarium has a staff of 60 full- and part- costs and increase effectiveness of the display detailed data are lost.
time employees and 200 volunteers instrumental in systems, the first breeding and fertilization of a Bramsch says the future of the aquarium
our day-to-day operations,” said Bramsch. “In captive bull shark, the first successful molting of an includes exciting plans, pairing with other Tulsa-
addition to serving as guides, our volunteers act as Alaskan red king crab in captivity, and the first suc- area attractions to draw visitors. “ She added,
ambassadors and are trained to know the area – cessful long-distance transport of adult bull sharks “There is a synergy between the different attractions
weighing over 250 lbs. and a growing economic development impact.”
OCTOBER 2006 3
TASM Lands New Director Projections can be made of tonight’s stars
f rom any vantage point on this planet or fro m
any year in history, or even what the night
The opening of the new Sky Theater Pagan said many opportunities for the sky will look like over Tulsa in September of
brings the Tulsa Air and Space Museum community are available with the new 5006. “You can even go to the vantage point
(TASM) its first Planetarium Dire c t o r, Planetarium. “We can do live shows and of another planet and see what their star
Christopher Pagan. With a degree in Physics shows about the planets and the universe p a t t e rn is like,” Pagan said.
f rom Valparaiso University and pre v i o u s with digital video that brings the science in a “ We have one show now from the per-
experience as Planetarium Director of the most personal way to the audience. spective of fish living in the ocean and it
South Florida Science Museum, Pagan leads e x p l o res how the moon affects tides here on
the educational mission of Tulsa’s newest
“Professionally, this is earth. You can have what almost seems like
u n related topics and still draw the audience
“My wife and I joke that after three a state-of-the-art facility. i n t e rest to an astronomy-based idea.”
hurricanes in three years, we are delighted to Currently TASM is enjoying strong
be in Tulsa,” Pagan said, “but it is really the There is none better attendance and much of that from school
higher level of friendly cooperation in Tulsa
that is so wonderfully remarkable. People
in the world.” tour groups. The majority of those groups
a re from Oklahoma, but students from south-
will go out of their way to help you here western Missouri, southern Kansas, western
and that makes Tulsa County a marvelous Arkansas, and beyond have traveled here to
place to live.” learn. Approximately 15 percent of atten-
“Professionally, this is a state-of-the-art “In the older systems,” Pagan continued, dance is from outside Oklahoma. In the first
facility. There is none better in the world and “you might see a little planet in the sky two months of operation the Planetarium has
t h e re are only two others presently like it sitting up on the dome. With this Electric Sky hosted over 12,000 people.
a n y w h e re else. Here I can use-cutting edge Theater system, we can bring that planet all
technology and that was a huge draw.” the way up to where it fills the whole dome,
TASM is dedicated to pre s e rving not so the audience can see the details of the
just general aviation history, but Tulsa's diff e rent features of the planet as we talk
aviation history – most people don't realize about them. It’s so much better that just
how rich, diverse and important a role the looking at a point of light in a dark sky.
city has held in the field since 1928. “When people go to a movie they expect
Tulsa’s collective aviation enterprises are more and more special effects so
a $3 billion per year industry and, as a Planetariums had to change the same way.
result, corporate and community support for We couldn’t keep showing people little
TASM is strong. Completed just prior to the points of light. With a facility like this, the
completion of the Planetarium, Hangar science comes alive at its most entertaining,”
One – a 43,000-sq.-ft. main museum – Pagan said.
f e a t u res interactive, museum and airc r a f t The unique theatre is designed to display Vision 2025 Sky Theater.
exhibits. images on a 360-degree dome screen.
TASM will be adding new full dome
shows continually. The most recent, titled
“Big,” pre m i e red in September and explores
the size of the universe from very small
things to very big things.
“When you can show students science
rather than just presenting abstract ideas,
they retain the information better – it
becomes real to them,” Pagan said. “Full
dome video shows run just like a movie.
With our live shows we can have pre-
planned features, but still interrupt at any
Tulsa Air and Space point to draw up a universe or planet for full
Museum Campus. view to answer an audience question or bet-
ter illustrate a concept.”
For more on TASM visit their Web site at
4 VISION 2025 REPORT
Vision 2025 Projects: enhancements to the project, which demonstrates
the need for these facilities.
Allocation: $8 million; 95% complete
Progress at a Glance Estimated % Complete at September 1, 2006 by funds expended
7. Common ED Funding for Instructional
Material: Funds have been allocated
pro p o rtionately to all of Tulsa County’s public
school districts based on the student populations
Proposition I: Boeing 5. Langston-Tulsa: P resently the architects are
within each district at the time the initiative was
As a result of Boeing not choosing Tulsa for the proceeding with the preparation of construction
approved. Each district receives funding for
7E7 assembly plant, the incentives which were bid documents. The University has scheduled
needed instructional materials and equipment,
approved by voters were not utilized and this construction to begin in Febru a ry 2007.
such as computers, books, science kits and
portion of the Vision 2025 sales tax did not go Allocation: $8 million; 3% complete
student furniture, as the individual districts assess
their individual needs. Approximately
$8 million has been dispersed to the school
Proposition II: American Airlines
districts to date.
1. American Airlines is continuing to progress on
p rojects. Intended to stabilize and enhance jobs at Allocation: $11.3 million; 71% complete
the Tulsa base.
Allocation: $22.3 million; 70% complete 8. Morton Health Care: The clinic is
complete. The Morton staff is presently
Proposition III: Economic Development / moving in and preparing to serve patients
Educational / Health Care and Events in a 60,000-sq.-ft. primary care medical
Facilities clinic. Meanwhile, work is beginning on
2. OU-Tulsa: Vision 2025 funds, paired with an ancillary building to support the
University funds, are constructing a 98,000-sq.-ft. clinic’s patient transport fleet. These new
Research and Medical Clinic which integrates
facilities will offer additional services,
teaching, research, and community service.
including medical, dental,
Allocation: $30 million;
behavioral health, pharmacy,
Vision 2025 Patient education,
funds, along WIC services,
with University patient
funds and transportation, and
significant after-hours care
private are available.
are constructing and opportunity for
equipping The low-income
Advanced Technology Research Tulsans to reach
Center. This unique, 110,000-sq.- both preventative
ft. facility will house laboratories and full-service
and educational programs for the health care reduces
development of future composite materi- the burden on area
als and technology that will continue to be emergency rooms
in demand for applications in the aerospace, and the general
biotechnology, telecommunications, and man- cost of health care
ufacturing industries. in Tulsa.
Allocation: $30 million; 37% complete Allocation: $14
4. NSU-Broken Arrow: Phase II of the NSU- 92% complete
B roken Arrow Campus expansion project, primarily
funded by Vision 2025, includes the construction 6. Tulsa Community College: Southeast
of separate classroom, science and library buildings, Campus: Construction is largely complete. The
the first of which is complete and being utilized. new 39,500-sq.-ft. Medical and Biotechnology
When fully complete, the Vision 2025 campus Learning Center will begin training students for
expansion will accommodate an anticipated employment within these growing fields in the
4,000-student increase in the next few years.
Allocation: $26 million; 83% complete
spring. TCC announced having rapidly reached
the mid-point of its private fundraising goal for
OCTOBER 2006 5
9. Arena / Convention Center: BOK Center: LaFortune Park Recreation Center: 12. Broken Arrow Community Center and
Construction on the BOK Center continues with Landscaping and site development is underway. Swimming Pool: Masonry work continues on
structural concrete work on the inner portions of The building package bid was accepted and the Community Center and roof decking is
the stru c t u re. The City has awarded additional construction will begin this fall on an exciting complete. Construction on the Swimming Pool is
construction packages. Convention Center: The project combining the center with the new Herman scheduled to be complete in 2007.
Design Development phase of architectural work and Kate Kaiser Library which is separately funded. Allocation: $6 million; 33% complete
is complete and has been presented to the
Convention Center staff for review. 13. Collinsville City Hall & Fire Station /
LaFortune Park Par 3 Golf: The project
Allocation: $228.5 million; 19% complete EMS Station: P rojects complete.
schedule prioritizes this with other park
Allocation: $2.3 million; 100% complete
improvements to avoid adverse impact during golf
10. Expo Square: The first series of projects
season surrounding the upcoming 2007 PGA
which feature the livestock complex is complete. 14. Owasso Community Center Projects:
Championship being hosted in Tulsa.
The Central Park Hall, a new upscale, multi-use The Community Build Park and significant HVAC
facility proposed to front the racing grand stand, is improvements to the Community Center are
being readied for construction bids. complete. The Veterans Memorial is complete.
Allocation: $40 million; 78% complete The new multi-source funded YMCA is complete.
Allocation: $1 million; 92% complete
11. Tulsa County Parks:
Allocation: $12.7 million; 52% complete 15. Skiatook Community Center and
Swimming Pool: Construction of the Swimming
Jenks/Glenpool Community Center: The Pool project, which is jointly funded by the Town
project which includes a multi-function community of Skiatook and Vision 2025, is underway and
center and outdoor pool is complete and in use. construction of the Bathhouse is complete.
O’Brien Park: Construction of the Baseball Area Allocation: $600,000; 65% complete
Haikey Creek Park Improvements: The Parks Restroom and Concession Building is complete.
Department is presently evaluating improvement Construction on the Practice Golf Course and Golf
options for this area. Operations Building continues. The training Golf
Course is in the grow-in period and the new main
park roadway is complete.
6 VISION 2025 REPORT
16. Sperry Community Center: This project is 20. Arkansas River Low-Water Dams: The elements identified in the Route 66 Master Plan.
complete. The community will be able to enjoy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is presently in the Allocation: $15 million; 13% complete
this enhanced former WPA constructed arm o ry selection process for consultants to assist with
building for many years. the Planning Assistance to States (PAS) study 23. Oklahoma Aquarium: T h ree annual
Allocation: $500,000; 100% complete that will develop the baseline data necessary to payments have been made for a total of
obtain the permit for the proposed facilities. $2,769,230.
17a. Tulsa Air and Space Museum’s Sky Allocation: $5.6 million: 3% complete Allocation: $12 million; 23% complete
Theater: The project is complete and in
operation with TASM providing all operating funds. 21a. Zink Lake Shoreline Beautification: 24. Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame:
Allocation: $2 million; 100% complete Identification of the specific project to benefit C o n s t ruction in the Union Depot is scheduled to
f rom these funds is pending. It is possible that begin in the fall of 2006.
17b. Mohawk Park: Construction on the Oxley this project could proceed in conjunction with Allocation: $4 million; 60% complete
Nature Center continues with remedial work to proposed private funding pledges to the community.
c o rrect deterioration of the stru c t u re discovered Allocation: $1.8 million; 0% complete 25. American Indian Cultural Center: The
during the roof replacement. The majority of work Vision 2025 portion (public infrastructure to the
to date has been funded by the City of Tulsa. 21b. Zink Lake Upstream Catch Basin and site) of this project is on hold awaiting results
Allocation: $6.4 million; 1% complete Silt Removal: Development of the project of private fund raising activities necessary to
scope and implementation schedule is underway c o n s t ruct the Center.
18. Osage Trail: The project is under budget and will be coordinated with potential down- Allocation: $2 million; 0% complete
and 100% complete. Remaining funds in this s t ream improvements, which are presently being
project account are being reserved for future studied by INCOG.
improvements to the Trail as Tulsansutilize it and Allocation: $2.1 million; 0% complete
n e c e s s a ryenhancements are identified.
Allocation $3.7 million; 99% complete 22. Route 66: Historic route markings are in
place.The Av e ry Plaza design is approximately
19. Midland Valley Downtown Trail 75% complete and is scheduled for construction
Extension: Advertisement for construction bids in 2007. In addition, the City of Tulsa released
is scheduled to occur in late 2006.
consultants to proceed with the design of several
Allocation: $1 million; 10% complete
OCTOBER 2006 7
26. Downtowns/Neighborhoods: 26f. Owasso: Design and coordination of the 28. Owasso Medical Complex: The new
26a. Bixby: The Downtown Streetscape underground utility relocation is underway with two-million-gallon elevated water tank and the
Project construction is complete. The construc- overall project completion scheduled for early Phase I water transmission line are in use.
tion and installation of security improvements 2007. Construction of the Phase II water transmission
in the public parks are underway. Allocation: $1,143,463.90; 93% complete line is presently underway.
Allocation: $852,941.40; 98% complete Allocation: $4.5 million; 93% complete
26g. Sand Springs:
26b. Broken Arrow: Design for the proposed Applications for a downtown Façade 29. Sand Springs Keystone Corridor
Farmer’s Market and Broken Arrow H i s t o ry Improvement Grant program have been Redevelopment: Property acquisition is
Museum are complete. Potential projects received and reviews are underway. The bids 89% complete. Relocations and demolition
identified for the Neighborhood funds include for the Internally Lighted Street Identification activities are already underway.
new street lighting, neighborhood entrance Signs (Streetscape Enhancements) have been Allocation: $14.5 million; 69% complete
sign replacements, drainage and street accepted. The City Council authorized PSO to
improvements and various park improvements. construct the Downtown Street Lighting project 30. 61st Street (US 169 to 145th E.
Allocation: $3,972,953.93; 8% complete and construction is underway. The Triangle Ave.): The City of Tulsa Portion has been
Park project bids have been received and are complete for some time, and the Tulsa County
26c. Collinsville: Design for the Main Street under consideration. The Design for Spring Portion is nearly complete with both coming in
Master Plan and Phase I Main Street Park Phase I is underway. New entrance marker under budget.
Enhancement project is underway. Preliminary signage has been installed at River City Park Allocation: $13.5 million; 98% complete
designs for the Community (Park) Shelter have and landscape improvements are underway.
been approved and construction bid Allocation: $969,396.51; 21% complete
advertisement is scheduled for the fall of 2006.
Allocation: $239,286.73; 41% complete 26h. Skiatook: A local Boy Scout has
volunteered to make park improvements in
cooperation with the Town’s project. The Town
is soliciting proposals from landscape
architects for improvements along Main Street.
Allocation: $99,507.03; 1% complete
26i. Sperry: Construction of the Main Street
and the 2nd Street Sidewalk Projects are
Allocation: $58,954.70; 83% complete
26j. Tulsa: The Centennial Walk Conceptual
Design is complete and includes the 31. 36th Street North (Cincinnati
streetscaping of more than 20 blocks as well as Avenue to the Osage County Line): This
the construction of “Centennial Green,” a half- project has been bid and awarded. Pre-con-
26d. Glenpool: The first downtown/ city block park on 6th Street from Main Street struction utility relocations are underway with
neighborhood project, paving and sidewalk to Boston Avenue. Fifty-four applications for roadway construction beginning this fall.
improvements, is complete. Work has begun the neighborhood enhancement programs have Allocation: $4 million; 1% complete
on the Elwood Roadway Improvement Project. been awarded and nine are presently being
Allocation: $459,388.00; 43% complete implemented. The Downtown Housing Questions or Comments?
Developer Assistance project is in contract Call Your Commissioner.
26e. Jenks: Construction is beginning on the negotiations between the Developers and the
Veterans Park Playground and Restroom City of Tulsa. Wilbert E. Collins, Sr., District 1
Pavilion Projects. Allocation: $21,591,348.09; 6% complete (918) 596-5020
Allocation: $612,759.72; 65% complete email@example.com
27. Haikey Creek Flood Prevention:
Development of the U.S. Army Corps of Robert N. Dick, District 3
Engineers’ Feasibility Study continues. (918) 596-5010
Allocation: $12.2 million; 1% complete firstname.lastname@example.org
Randi Miller, District 2
8 VISION 2025 REPORT
Take me tothe
least partial funding.
In addition to the Arkansas River Master Plan,
funds from the Oxley Foundation have been used
to start a whitewater study proposed by a group of
avid local kayakers. They urged the construction
of a whitewater park below Zink Dam in the area
called the Tulsa Wave. The Tulsa Wave is not
well-known – to most Tulsans – as an area for
recreation on the water. But to kayakers in the
know throughout the U.S., it is one of the best
summertime areas for whitewater competition in
the region and with help could be significantly
For this evaluation, INCOG contracted with
Tulsa County is embracing our 42 miles of the The Arkansas River is home to three Denver-based McLaughlin Whitewater Engineers,
Arkansas River, and river development has endangered species and one threatened species. a consulting firm that has designed a number of
become the prime priority with planning by The Interior Least Tern requires the most diligent major whitewater attractions. During their visits
several groups rapidly moving forw a rd. At press p rotection, because they nest and raise their to Tulsa, they discovered that the area below Zink
time, here is the latest. young here. The American Bald Eagle nests and Dam has tremendous potential for a major world-
Planning Phases 1 and 2 are complete with winters here. The Piping Plover and the American class facility.
the finalization of the Arkansas River Corridor B u rrowing Beetle are the other two species in the Public Service Company recently improved
Master Plan, which has been approved and a rea that must be considered when developing the river bank and access to the Tulsa Wave – and
adopted by the Planning Commission, Tulsa City river projects. they’ve also put up “Tulsa Wave” signs near the
Council, Indian Nations Council of Governments power plant. The next idea that goes along
(INCOG), Tulsa County Commission, and the with that – and PSO is very interested in the
City of Jenks. The City of Sand Springs and possibility – is to convert the Tulsa power
other municipalities are expected soon to adopt station to a community facility, a gathering place,
the plan for their areas. and an observation point focused on kayakers.
Presently, with the exception of Jenks, most Another component is development of an
of the comprehensive plans in the communities extended waterfront in Sand Springs that would
along the river do not have a river corridor c reate a lake for additional park facilities,
component to them, with most treating river land educational facilities, natural habitats, etc. The
as flood plain. The river corridor needs special South Tulsa/Jenks low-water dam will provide
guidelines, along with comprehensive plans, to water for an already-vibrant commercial area.
guide the quality of development along the Water taxis are expected to run between
river, but development is both proposed and attractions along the river.
beginning. There were reasons why Tulsa turned its
Unfortunately, many do not really understand back on the river in the past. It’s been a
how long it takes to develop something on an dangerous river for flooding. It’s been a river
environmentally p rotected river like ours. Both dominated by industrial activity, as waste would
public and private o fficials are working go in the river without any care. Now the waste
quickly with diligence and ask for the has been removed and future pollution
community’s patience. forbidden. The fish are safe to eat, but the water
INCOG sponsored Phases 1 and 2 on behalf will always look a bit brown since it is moving
of the area communities to develop the plan with The level of water in the river is one of the vast amounts of soil. However, with those
the Army Corps of Engineers. Now Tulsa County, prime factors needing improvement. While the concerns now alleviated, both residents and
through Vision 2025, has stepped up to be the Arkansas is a great river, it naturally doesn’t have visitors are embracing the Arkansas River as a fun
overall sponsor of the corridor plan and has much water. Plans focus on building a place to be. The momentum from the upcoming
provided the 50 percent funding to the Corps to consistency of water in the river by adding low- public infrastru c t u re projects has sparked the
undertake Phase 3 with Vision 2025 funds. This water dams and pools at selected locations. imaginations of private investors who will drive
phase is primarily focused on collecting field data Overall, the 42 miles of Arkansas River in Tulsa f o rw a rdtheir own plans for many new projects –
for environmental clearance of the major public County will be a healthy mix of natural habitats, which means the best is yet to come for all of the
venues along the corridor, such as the low-water recreation, and development opportunity. 42 miles of Arkansas River within Tulsa County.
dams and walking trails and so forth. Obtaining The first two areas to be studied are the For more information related to the Arkansas
the federally required permits involves the sediment accumulations behind the dam in Zink River Corridor visit www.incog.org.
collection of vast quantities of specific Lake and shoreline beautification. The third is the
environmental data, a process which will take a building of the low-water dams. All three of those
little over a year. efforts were included within Vision 2025 with at www.Vision2025.info
OCTOBER 2006 9
respected degree programs that have become
synonymous with NSU throughout its nearly
A Perfect Match
T h rough the generosity and support of the
INNOVATION FROM THE GROUND UP
Heating and cooling a facility as large as
NSU-BA is an important part of building and
operation costs. The architects and engineers
e x p l o red every option with Northeastern
B roken Arrow community, Northeastern State “The foresight of o fficials, opting for a unique geothermal system
which uses approximately half the operating
U n i v e r s i t y - B rokenArrow opened its doors in
August 2001 with three buildings and the Tulsa County voters is e n e rgy required to heat and cool campus
p romise to provide quality educational buildings when compared with traditional
o p p o rtunities to the citizens of the Greater Tulsa
helping NSU-BA reach systems.
M e t ropolitan Area. its full potential.” The system utilizes water source heat pumps
either to dissipate heat into the earth for summer
The Vision 2025 package approved by voters Dr. Larry Williams,
in September 2003 provided for a $26 million cooling or to pull heat from the earth for winter
package to complete Phase II construction on heating. The closed loop system stretches
the campus which includes science, library and “We greatly appreciate the faith the people of 290,000 feet, or 55 miles, and uses a series of
c l a s s roombuildings. Once completed, the B roken Arrow and Tulsa County have placed in wells 300-ft. deep as a heat transfer medium.
expanded campus will be able to accommodate our university by approving Vision 2025,” said In addition to cost efficiency, the system
8,000 students annually, providing for increased NSU President Dr. Larry Williams. “The project is exceptionally quiet with no cooling towers,
economic growth for the Tulsa metropolitan area is a valuable investment in the future for the boilers or condensers. Equipment for the
t h rough a well-educated workforce. This talented Tulsa area.” system is located within the peaked roof of each
workforce, in turn, will provide incentive for new The new NSU-BA facilities provide re s i d e n t s building and the well fields are under the
employers to establish businesses in the region. of the Tulsa area access to many of the 80 highly parking lots.
10 VISION 2025 REPORT
Arena Update the re s t rooms, the mechanical rooms, show
o ffices – and crammed them into little slots all
a round the arena bowl. Instead, these activities
With construction in full drive, the BOK Center a re pulled away from the center of the arena
is changing daily the skyline of downtown Tulsa. to the outer area. This will open up wider
You can watch construction pro g ressing live sections of view to the bowl from anywhere
online from two cameras a round the concourse.
p roviding both an east Another feature is the house-darkening
and west view at system. For a large concert or convention,
www.Vision2025.info or t h e re would be no house-darkening necessary. the construction packages are bid and work is
simply drive by on But for smaller events, the entire upper bowl going on, is a flurry of private economic
Denver from 1st to can be blacked out, or the house can be development all around the arena. Several
3 rd Street. divided in half for a black-box type of major private contracts are in negotiation. The
This facility has some interesting innovations. performance. face of downtown Tulsa is changing in many
Arenas generally have taken the ancillary functions – What’s already been happening, even as positive ways.
Expo SuccessDraws “It’s a wonderful, dynamic, challenging
business to work in, and I’m spoiled by a work
environment that literally changes by the day and
the hour,” Bjorklund said. “I’m talking different
languages with diff e rent people at diff e rent times
– by that I mean that the language of the horse
show industry is diff e rent than the language of
the boat show industry, or the stage and
With nearly 30 years in public facilities disrepair – they’re large, public facilities, and entertainment industry, or the sporting industry –
management, Rick Bjorklund, Expo Square’s new they do depreciate. The anomaly is that our lead- and I get to touch them all. That’s fun and I’m
President and CEO, is excited about the ership did Vision 2025 right. They were strong, excited about our role and expanding our place
o p p o rtunity to lead what he knows is the best they were right, and they took it forw a rd. They in the community.”
facility of its kind in the nation. That’s why he were visionary and statesmanlike. That doesn’t
moved to Tulsa. happen every w h e re – it’s the exception that
our community leadership ‘gets it’ and gets it
“It is unquestionably
so well.” being developed into one
of the best equestrian
facilities in the country,
but beyond that, it is the
model across the country
“I foresee more events coming here, now that
that everyone else wants
the improvements have come out so well,” to subscribe to.”
Bjorklund said. “The paying public doesn’t want Rick Bjorklund,
to attend events at old, decrepit facilities and the Expo Square President and CEO
promoters and the producers certainly don’t want
to bring their events to old decrepit facilities. “Tulsans are renowned within the industry for
“In public facility management circles, Tulsa “Growing our event base is an absolute embracing this facility – they love the Golden
is known as ‘The One,’ ” Bjorklund said. “It is priority. The wonderful thing about Expo is that Driller (known throughout the country as one of
unquestionably being developed into one of the it’s multi-dimensional. We produce horse racing the best icons in the business) and the Expo
best equestrian facilities in the country, but and the state fair, but we don’t produce all the Building which was built during Tulsa’s oil boom
beyond that, it is the model across the country events that take place here. We work with days,” Bjorklund continued. “Building from that
that everyone else wants to subscribe to and promoters and we lease or rent the facilities, base with the new additions and parlaying it all
wants their governments to subscribe to, as to depending on what the event needs are. We for the best interests of the metropolitan area is
how to fund a public facility and take it forw a rd. produce the racing events and the state fair in- going to be great fun and good business.”
“When I address civic groups and other house with outstanding staff recognized nation-
organizations, my usual opener is that it’s not an wide as second to none. If somebody doesn’t
anomaly that facilities across the nation like Expo want to produce an event we have the strength, www.Vision2025.info
S q u a reor the convention center can fall into the talent, and the capability to produce it for them.
OCTOBER 2006 11
Chairman’s project. The successful model Tulsa County
developed is working. In less than three years,
the program at this time is 40% complete and
taxpayers are able to follow its progress each
step of the way.
While the Sales Tax Overview Committee
meets monthly to review each project in open
By Commissioner Wi l b e rt E. Collins, Sr. meetings, taxpayers are also welcome to review
the program Web site at www.Vision2025.info,
When I was first elected to the County peruse annual newsletters, and visit the Vision
Commission in 1998, it soon became clear that 2025 booth at the Tulsa State Fair. While at
public improvement needs were greater than Expo Square, see for yourself the
the operating budget. The Commissioners improvements there, and as you have the
debated and I argued for a citizen’s vote on opportunity, visit OU-Tulsa, OSU-Tulsa, the
capital improvements. Several packages have new Morton Health Center and other Vision
since been passed for the betterment of Tulsa 2025 projects throughout Tulsa County –
County. Thank you. the projects you approved that are making a
Our families deserve safe roads and difference for a better life countywide.
bridges, nice parks and community amenities This public report is a direct effort to keep
and local businesses need the infrastructure to you current on all the projects and includes
be successful– to build prosperity for future program highlights. Tulsa County’s forward
generations. momentum will continue as more major
Commissioner Wi l b e rt Collins
I believe Tulsa County has and should projects open to the public. I invite you to
continue to unite cities and towns, and cooperate When Vision 2025 was developed, the review these details and if you have any
with the state and the federal government and leadership demanded attention to specifics. questions, call me.
the Indian Nations to work together. There is Tulsa voters have rallied to support local
no better example of this cooperation than growth packages, especially when presented in
Vision 2025. specific detail with results clearly visible to the
public. Those results are listed here in every
Commissioner Wilbert Collins, Chair PRSRT STD
Board of County Commissioners US POSTAGE
Tulsa County Offices
500 South Denver PAID
Tulsa, OK 74103 TULSA OK
Tulsa County Commissioners: W l b e rt Collins, Bob Dick and Randi Miller