Architect selected for MAPS convention center

The
recommendation to hire Kansas City-based Populous and GSB to conduct
a conceptual study for the convention center will go before the MAPS
3 Citizens Advisory Committee on Thursday. If passed, it will then go
before the City Council for approval.

Populous
was the firm responsible for weighing and narrowing down the
prospective sites for the future convention center. Out of those
sites, a former auto dealership just south of Myriad Botanical
Gardens and west of the Chesapeake Energy Arena, was selected as the
best spot.

But
that location, which had won City Council approval, has come under
fire by some as being a barrier between the Myriad Gardens park and
the future MAPS 3 downtown park just south of that location.

During
this week’s subcommittee meeting, former Oklahoma City Mayor and
current subcommittee member Kirk Humphreys urged his fellow
subcommittee members to recommend that Populous re-evaluate the
current site and the second-place site, which is in Bricktown.

Humphreys
said he was concerned that it might not be possible for the goals of
the convention center to be reached at the selected location because
of engineering challenges and costs.

However,
Humphreys was the lone voice advocating the re-evaluation. Other
board members pointed out that the subcommittee and Populous had gone
over the criteria and weighing of each site twice already, both times
coming to the same conclusion.

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