An advisory panel recommended Wednesday that Oklahoma City accept a contractor’s offer to build the MAPS 3 whitewater recreation center for $33.4 million, nearly $13.6 million more than anticipated.
Project managers propose making up the difference by putting off spending on windscreens and other Oklahoma River improvements, and by finding $2.9 million in savings during construction.
If the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board agrees Thursday, the city council would be asked to award the contract. Getting started now would preserve Oklahoma City’s opportunity to host the U.S. Olympic canoeing and kayaking trials in 2016.
Mayor Mick Cornett said the whitewater center will be a catalyst for economic development.
“I was hoping that the subcommittee would recognize the whitewater center is the priority on the river,” Cornett said. “If we hope to be involved in the 2016 Olympic trials, we need to get started.”
The center will be a training and competition venue for Olympic-caliber athletes in paddle sports, while offering recreational opportunities for children and adults.
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