Construction Costs Force Cutbacks To OKC Park Projects

Wednesday, November 13th 2019, 5:54 pm
By: Karl Torp

A plan to improve Oklahoma City parks is being watered down. 

Bids to build new basketball courts, trails and playgrounds have come back too high.

Parks are not typically a top priority for a general obligation bond, and one from 2007 is no exception.

Road improvements and public safety are priorities, and those types of projects are usually addressed first.

Twelve years later, 2007 bond park projects are still being planned.

“That’s the reality we’re faced with, the bids came back high or we just couldn’t build as much as we thought we were going to bid,” said OKC Parks Director Doug Kupper.

The City wanted two basketball courts at Diggs Park in Northeast OKC, only one is being built.

Trails, original proposed to be a mile, will be three quarters of a mile at several parks, and playgrounds are also being scaled back.

“As the cost of living goes up, the money we have for construction goes down,” added Kupper.

Kupper said the general obligation bond passed in 2017 does account for rising construction costs.

MAPS 4 could potentially pump $140 million into parks.

In the meantime, original park blueprints all over town are now being trimmed.

See Related Story: OKC City Council Announces 16 Projects For MAPS 4