Controversy created over memorial's sacred ground

Tuesday, February 12th 2008, 10:52 pm
By: News 9

By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9

Left standing after a terrorist attack that took 168 lives, many view the Journal Record Building as part of the memorial's sacred ground. While the west end of the building houses the bombing museum, the east end remains empty.

That could all change if the school board finalizes plans to buy the space from Oklahoma City, but their plans are creating some controversy.

Mayor Mick Cornett said it seems like a good deal.

"We'd really like to find someone to take some space in that building, and the school district has been really excited about it," Cornett said.

Kathleen Kennedy of Oklahoma City Public Schools said the school district is excited because their current building is falling apart. It has leaky roofs, mold stained walls, tile missing from the ceiling and puddles forming in the hall.

Sources close to the memorial said that Oklahoma City Schools aren't a good fit for the Journal Record Building.

Their reasons are recent controversies, like the resignation of former School Superintendent John Porter, may take away from the memorial's serenity.

While the School District and the Mayor are just now hearing about these concerns, Cornett hopes the city can get rid of any worries of the sale of the Journal Record Building.

"If there's a way all of this can be handled in a conversation, I'm sure those conversations will take place," Cornett said.

The School District was set to pay $4 million for the new office space inside the Journal Record Building.

While they aren't backing away from the deal, officials of the school district said they will meet with anyone voicing a concern about the memorial.