It's time to talk about the MAPS 3 park.
Oklahoma City officials and consultants are hosting a meeting this week to get ideas from the public on the park, which will extend south from the downtown core across Interstate 40 to the north shore of the Oklahoma River. The meeting is set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.
Consultants from Hargreaves Associates will lead the meeting. Hargreaves, which has extensive international experience in public park design, is the group hired by the city to come up with the park's master plan.
This is the first of a series of at least three meetings expected to be held to gather public input about the park.
“That was one of the reasons we hired them, their public outreach process,” Oklahoma City's MAPS program director David Todd said of Hargreaves. “They do this a lot.”
The 70-acre park, a centerpiece element of the MAPS 3 ballot presented to Oklahoma City voters, is expected to cost about $132 million. The size and cost make it the most ambitious city green space project in Oklahoma history.
Forty acres of the park will extend south of the MAPS 3 convention center to the new I-40, and the Skydance Bridge will connect the upper portion to the 30-acre southern portion. Property acquisition is nearly complete for the northern section, and construction is expected to begin next year.
Guidelines for what could eventually be part of the park include almost anything one could imagine to be inside a grand municipal green space: everything from open fields to pickup sports facilities, a dog park, a concert venue and space for art exhibitions.