City leaders have hit some rough water after bids for the MAPS3 Whitewater Center came in way above budget.
The Whitewater Recreation Center will be built alongside the Oklahoma River downtown and construction was set to begin this fall.
“It’s a very important project,” says USA Canoe and Kayak CEO, Joe Jacobi.
Jacobi’s organization moved their headquarters to Oklahoma City in 2011 in anticipation of the Whitewater Center, where current Olympic Athletes would train and future ones would be inspired.
“To me the idea that you have young kids here in OKC that have yet to get in a whitewater kayak that within 10 years could be standing on a podium representing the United States in an International whitewater event is incredible to me,” said Jacobi.
However, bids for the $23.8-million project came in between $37 and $42.5 million, the lowest bid is about $14 million over budget.
“As we went through design, we made sure it was conformist with the budget, but this was a bit of a surprise,” said MAPS3 Program Manager, David Todd.
Todd says project consultants are currently looking at what led to the gap and what needs to be done to keep the project afloat. He doesn’t know how long that will take.
“We’ll make adjustments and we’ll deliver what we promised and we’ll be within budget.”
Todd thinks part of the issue may be the timing of building the project.
You may remember this same issue with the Bricktown ballpark. There was about a $6 million gap there. In that case, changes were made to the design in order to keep it within budget.?