Staying the course 

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

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

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

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

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

However, his was the lone voice advocating the re-evaluation. Other board members pointed out that the subcommittee and the architectural firms had reviewed the criteria and weighing of each site twice already, both times arriving at the same conclusion.

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