Expansion Project Slated For Downtown OKC Memorial

Monday, September 17th 2012, 8:33 pm
By: News 9

By Abby Broyles, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Changes are in the works for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

For the first time since its dedication on April 19th, 2000, the memorial is planning an expansion. Museum directors want to add a glass balcony that will extend about four feet from the museum building. The idea is to be able to stand inside and look out that glass window to see the memorial from a new perspective all ahead of the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

Jeremy Hicks feels the same way most people do when visiting the memorial in downtown Oklahoma City.

"It was absolutely amazing," Hicks said.

"It was very beautiful, very moving," Rita Hicks said.

Jeremy and his wife Rita are in town from Texas, visiting for the first time.

"It was really difficult seeing the children, that was the hardest part for me," Hicks said.

They came to see where the tragedy happened here April 19th, 1995 when Timothy McVeigh carried out his plan to bomb the Murrah building, killing 168 people.

Now with the 20th anniversary close, in 2015, the museum will undergo construction for a glass balcony overlooking the outdoor memorial.

"The outdoor site was never meant to tell the entire story, it was meant to be reflective and contemplative and more symbolic," Executive Director Kari Watkins said.

Watkins says the balcony will help visitors relate the symbolism outside to the educational center inside.

The outdoor memorial was dedicated by President Clinton in 2000. A year later, president George W. Bush dedicated the museum. Now, the renovation project will keep telling the story.

"[We're doing] what we can do in this time frame that re-energizes the story, tells the story in a way that we couldn't have told a decade ago," Watkins said.

It's an ongoing story honoring the victims, survivors, rescue workers and all who were changed forever April 19th, 1995.

The price tag for this project is about $450,000.

The museum started raising money in May.

The museum also plans to add new artifacts, including interviews with attorneys in the criminal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.