OKC area congressional seat, four others to be decided on Tuesday
Kendra Horn’s uphill run for Congress, which began on a sweltering Friday night in July 2017, will end in defeat or victory Tuesday night at a watch party in north Oklahoma City.
Horn, in her first run for office, has raised more money than Republican Rep. Steve Russell and built an impressive network of volunteers who call and canvas the 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Oklahoma County and Seminole and Pottawatomie Counties.
But polls show her trailing the congressman, a sophomore incumbent who rode strong evangelical support to easy election wins in 2014 and 2016.
A SoonerPoll survey of 440 likely voters last week found Russell leading with 49 percent of the vote to Horn’s 37 percent and another 14 percent undecided. An earlier SoonerPoll and Russell’s internal polls have shown
With Tuesday’s action, nearly $1.3 million in additions will have been made since work began in June, but the construction contract with Flintco LLC will have increased by only $43,400.
And the new contract price of $168.2 million will remain $5 million under the original bid. Here’s why:
• The city council OK’d a deal to have Veolia Energy’s downtown utility plant provide heat and air conditioning, eliminating the need to install $5.1 million worth of equipment. The annual heating and cooling bill is expected to be $797,000.
• Omni Hotels and Resorts, developer of the convention center complex’s luxury headquarters hotel, exercised its option to drop the SW 4 Street skyway between the hotel and convention center. Savings on the convention center construction contract amount to $1.2 million.
Architects said they expected structural steel to begin rising on the construction site in the 500 block of S Robinson Avenue in November.
Early work focused on grading, trucking in fill dirt of a quality sufficient to support the foundation, drilling foundation piers and pouring concrete, and installing inground utilities.
Budgeted at $293 million, the convention center could be completed for $20 million less than that — thanks to the favorable construction bid.
Tuesday’s vote is for more piers, concrete and rebar to support addition of a service elevator and enclosure of the 550,000-square-foot building’s loading dock.
Adding the elevator is expected to provide flexibility and could serve future expansion needs.
Enclosing the loading dock would be a buffer against weather and an energy-saver.
MAPS 3 Program Manager David Todd said enclosing the loading dock may wait until the dock, on the back side of the 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, is extended as the building is expanded.
The elevator will be installed as construction moves ahead, at a total cost of about $2 million.
Besides the exhibit hall — bigger than three football fields and covering close to 5 acres — the convention center will have 45,000 square feet of meeting rooms.
The hotel across the street will have an additional 78,000 square feet for meetings.
The convention center is to open in 2020.
MAPS 3 projects are financed by the 1-cent MAPS 3 sales tax approved by voters in December 2009.
MAPS 3 projects open debt-free, an advantage over traditionally financed public works projects where financing requires repayment with interest.
Work on a stairwell gives an idea of the scale of the MAPS 3 convention center, the city’s largest-ever building project.[PHOTOS