Tulsa Children's Museum Planners Root For Vision2 Passage

Sunday, November 4th 2012, 9:05 pm

Supporters and opponents of Vision2 are giving a final push, over the weekend, both for and against the proposal.

Voters will decide on the Vision2 plan with two different propositions on Election Day. Proposition No. 1 would allocate $254 million for improvements and equipment at the Tulsa International Airport Industrial Complex and would set up a job creation fund.

Proposition No. 2 includes quality of life improvements all over Tulsa County, dividing nearly $258 million among various projects.

The Tulsa Children's Museum would get a small portion of that, and Sunday, they showcased some of the activities kids could enjoy.

10/31/2012 Related Story: Supporters, Opponents Make Arguments For, Against Vision2

Learning to play the drums, doing scientific experiments and even yoga lessons—it's all part of what to expect from The Tulsa Children's Museum.

"It's a way they can create, explore, use materials to build things," said Stephanie Stump, the Children's Museum Board Chair.

For the next few years, the Children's Museum will operate out of the Owen Park Recreation Center, but Stump said it won't take long to outgrow the facility.

"We are expecting 80,000 visitors in this facility and we are really gonna be busting at the seams," Stump said.

If the Proposition No. 2 passes, The Children's Museum would get $10 million to help start construction on a state of the art facility.

Opponents of Proposition No. 2, including Bill Christiansen, say projects like the museum would be great for Tulsa, but now isn't the time to fund them.

"We have to take care of the needs of the city first—streets, public safety, things like that; then look at the wants," Christiansen said.

Christiansen said the city's top priority should be infrastructure.

"There is no money in the city's portion of this Vision2 vote to fund and repair and widen streets," Christiansen said.

10/8/2012 Related Story: Vision2 Opponents Say Tax Is 'Blank Check' To County Government

Christiansen says Proposition No. 2 was thrown together too quickly, with not enough input from the community.

He said his biggest concern is that children, like his grandson, Aiden, will be paying off the tax for years to come.

"I think we're mortgaging the future of the citizens of Tulsa, their children and potentially their grandchildren, without enough process and public input and transparency being done," Christiansen said.

But Stump says Vision2 is a way to invest in both the city and its children, while bringing up to 100 jobs to the town.

"[It is] not only construction jobs for building the facility, but also educational jobs inside," Stump said.

Organizers with the Children's Museum say a new facility would bring in 175,000 visitors a year.