SHAP­ING UP

Ok­la­homa City’s new con­ven­tion cen­ter is about to get frame­work

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - METRO | STATE - BY WIL­LIAM CRUM Staff Writer wcrum@ok­la­homan.com

The four-level MAPS 3 con­ven­tion cen­ter should be­gin ris­ing from the ground this month.

The Ok­la­homa City city coun­cil will vote Tues­day on fi­nal foun­da­tion up­grades as five months of mov­ing dirt and in­stalling util­i­ties gives way to erect­ing steel for the city’s largest-ever build­ing project.

“We’ve had sev­eral years of not hear­ing too much about work or­ders at the con­ven­tion cen­ter, so get­ting un­der way is re­ally a great thing,” said Tom McDaniel, who chairs the MAPS 3 Ci­ti­zens Ad­vi­sory Board and the board’s con­ven­tion cen­ter sub­com­mit­tee.

The pro­posal be­ing con­sid­ered Tues­day is to spend $824,400 to strengthen the build­ing’s foun­da­tion for an ad­di­tional el­e­va­tor and en­clo­sure of the load­ing dock.

the con­gress­man with sim­i­lar leads. The con­gress­man said in an in­ter­view last week that the polling is clear and he is win­ning.

The con­gres­sional race has taken on darker tones in re­cent weeks. The lone de­bate con­tained ques­tions on ci­vil­ity, and the can­di­dates’ an­swers were some­times drowned out by a boo­ing and heck­ling crowd.

Horn has aired at­tack ads on health care and crit­i­cized Rus­sell’s do­na­tions from oil and gas com­pa­nies. Rus­sell’s fi­nal tele­vi­sion ad, on air­waves now, paints Rus­sell as a pil­lar of ci­vil­ity in a world of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence and chaos.

“Ms. Horn con­tin­ues to run a nasty cam­paign and be de­ceit­ful. But nev­er­the­less, I’m not go­ing to re­pay in kind,” Rus­sell said last week.

Horn said she be­lieves the race is tight­en­ing, with en­ergy and ex­cite­ment driv­ing high Demo­cratic turnout in the dis­trict. She said her crit­i­cisms of Rus­sell are eas­ily ver­i­fi­able.

“All of our hits have been ab­so­lutely above the belt,” Horn said.

The Demo­crat has, for much of her 16-month cam­paign, at­tempted to tie Rus­sell to un­pop­u­lar Re­pub­li­can Gov. Mary Fallin and the state’s short­com­ings in ar­eas of health care and ed­u­ca­tion. Re­pub­li­can poli­cies in Wash­ing­ton — tax cuts for cor­po­ra­tions, weak­en­ing of pro­tec­tions for pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions — are a con­tin­u­a­tion of state poli­cies in Ok­la­homa, she says.

Rus­sell has shrugged off the com­par­i­son and lightly mocked Horn’s dis­cus­sion of state is­sues. In an in­ter­view last week, he sug­gested she in­stead run for a seat in the Ok­la­homa Leg­is­la­ture, where she can bet­ter fo­cus on the state is­sues she cham­pi­ons.

In their fi­nal weeks of cam­paign­ing, Horn and Rus­sell have taken dif­fer­ent ap­proaches.

The Demo­cratic chal­lenger has fo­cused her pub­lic sched­ule on getout-the-vote events, from a rap con­cert at Tower Theater to a speech be­fore pro­gres­sive evan­gel­i­cals in Wi­ley Post Park.

Rus­sell’s pub­lic ap­pear­ances have been at in­dus­try events — an oil and gas meet­ing, an aerospace fo­rum, an agri­cul­ture lun­cheon — more in line with his role as a con­gress­man than a can­di­date.

Democrats be­lieve Horn of­fers them the best chance of win­ning a con­gres­sional seat in Ok­la­homa this year, but they are also com­pet­ing in the four other House races Tues­day.

In the 1st Dis­trict, the Tulsa-area seat left open by Re­pub­li­can Jim Bri­den­s­tine’s as­cen­sion to NASA ad­min­is­tra­tor, Demo­crat Tim Gilpin will face well-funded Re­pub­li­can Kevin Hern.

In the east­ern Ok­la­homa 2nd Dis­trict, Rep. Mark­wayne Mullin, R-Westville, is be­ing op­posed by Ja­son Ni­chols, the Demo­cratic mayor of Tahle­quah, along with Lib­er­tar­ian Richard Castaldo and in­de­pen­dent John Fore­man.

In the 3rd Dis­trict, which in­cludes much of west­ern Ok­la­homa, Re­pub­li­can Rep. Frank Lu­cas, R-Cheyenne, will take on Demo­crat Frankie Rob­bins, whom Lu­cas de­feated over­whelm­ingly in 2016 and 2014.

In the south-cen­tral 4th Dis­trict, Re­pub­li­can Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, will face Demo­crat Mary Brannon and in­de­pen­dent Ruby Peters.

[PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED BY POP­U­LOUS/GSB/CITY OF OK­LA­HOMA CITY]

The nearly $300 mil­lion MAPS 3 con­ven­tion cen­ter will open in 2020 at 500 S Robin­son Ave. Con­struc­tion be­gan in June.

Rigs drill piers to a depth of around 45 feet to sup­port the 550,000-square-foot MAPS 3 con­ven­tion cen­ter, be­ing con­structed in the 500 block of S Robin­son Av­enue.

OK­LA­HOMAN] [PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE

Kendra Horn speaks as U.S Rep. Steve Rus­sell lis­tens dur­ing a de­bate be­tween the two 5th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict can­di­dates last month.

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