I am excited to share with you the current status of The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. As you are aware, last legislative session, the Funding Plan for the The American Indian Center, which would have authorized approximately $40M of state bonds, subject to non-state matching funds to complete the project, was unfortunately not considered and approved by the Legislature.
I am happy to report that construction is presently ongoing, with the multipurpose/performance space for the Center almost complete. As you travel by the I-35/I-40 intersection, you will notice the new aspects of the building taking form. Fortunately, we have been able to work with our team and supporters to keep construction moving into January. Although we are still working to keep construction moving forward in a seamless fashion, we continue to confirm that completion of the project will now be delayed for one or more years; whereas we had been aiming for a 2015 opening.
It remains a priority to encourage state and local leaders to support any funding plan for completion of construction of The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Continuing seamless construction remains a priority in keeping additional project costs at a minimum. We will continue to do everything we can to mitigate additional expense while maintaing the progress necessary to open this magnificent new Center for Oklahoma.
Let's Finish It! Video 1 (1:34) or Let's Finish It! Video 2 (2:03)
Despite last year’s legislative setback, we have committed our efforts to moving forward by soliciting interest in commercial development investment of the project. It has always been a part of the overall project vision to advance accompanying commercial development that would include a hotel, conference center, arts marketplace and retail components. The economic impact of this project is not only the Cultural Center but includes exciting, supporting commercial development potential of the site. We are excited to move forward with the commercial development.
This year, we plan to engage a development team to manage the scope and operating elements of the commercial development components. Completion of the Cultural Center is directly related to the completion of the commercial development components. As such, they must be undertaken simultaneously and open concurrently. Every consultant we have spoken to has said that for the project to be successful, all pieces must be brought to the table and open at the same time. Presently, we are working with our Project Team and Board of Directors to move forward with commercial development. Someday, our friends and local residents will bring out-of-town family and friends to this new commercial area. Regional and national visitors will be motivated by The Center complex, and the commercial development will entice them to lengthen their stay. International guests will be attracted to the total destination experience, extending their stay to take packaged excursions to visit all tribal and cultural attractions across our great State. The commercial development, The Cultural Park, The Center and the Visitor Center will all work together to create a true satellite, complementing and connecting visitors and residents to the rich and unique experiences our state has to offer. At the Center of the Continent, in the “Heart of Indian Country,” we ARE truly creating a place like no other!
Thu, September 15, 2011
by Gena Timberman