News 9 Takes First-Hand Look At Completed Areas Of Devon Tower

Monday, December 19th 2011, 6:19 pm
By: News 9

Chris McKinnon, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Several floors inside the Devon Tower have been complete. The furniture has been set for move-in day, but on the 40th floor and above, workers were still doing major construction. More than 1,000 of them piece together the downtown skyscraper day by day.

Devon Energy Corporation opened up the tower's doors Monday to show off some of the completed areas and a spectacular view from the upper floors.

The first stop was the rotunda, where employees will begin and end their day. The rotunda will also house several eating areas, contracted out by Devon. The big thing they pointed out, no franchises.

"They'll go through the rotunda, transition through security in this space, then take their elevator to their respective work floors," Project Director Gavin Kelley explained.

The process is continuous from one day to the next. Each floor is at a different stage of completion and to maximize efficiency, different crews work on different projects as they move up the tower.

"At the same time they're installing furniture on the lower floors, they're still doing raw construction up on the top," Devon's Executive Chairman Larry Nichols said.

As the tower has grown, so has the public's curiosity about the inside. For months, little has changed on the exterior, but construction crews have been installing everything from plumbing and electrical to floors and finishing details. Nichols said that curiosity is good because the top two floors of the tower are dedicated for the public's use.

"A lot of people want to come and see the view," said Nichols. "Rather than just building an observation deck, which is kind of awkward and expensive, we thought let's let everybody have fun and build a restaurant."

Nichols said in addition to the restaurant, there are plans for a bar, club and banquet area. But beyond the entertainment value, the Devon Tower has been built as energy efficient. Everything from the office floors, to the bathrooms create maximum energy savings.

"The glass that you see is a very high efficiency glass that lets in a limited amount of solar heat," said John Wood, the Vice President of Hines. "So it's a very comprehensive approach that begins in design and goes all the way through construction."

After years of planning, the view from the top made the team proud Monday morning.

"It really is exciting when you looked at the drawings for so long and dealt with the architects and the builders who really know how to build this," said Nichols. "To walk into a space and say, ‘Oh ya, I remember that's how we designed it,' and it works."

Devon officials said they would begin moving their employees into the new tower at the end of March. They added it will be an on-going process as floors become finished, more people will move in. Everyone is expected to be moved in by the end of June.