Tulsans Lobby To Save Tulsa Recreation Center At B.C. Franklin Park

Saturday, September 1st 2012, 11:42 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Tulsa plans to bulldoze the recreation center at B.C. Franklin Park.

It's run down and has been unused for several years.

But dozens of people want to stop the demolition with a lawsuit - and force the city to reopen the center.

Wilma Harding pushed to have B.C. Franklin Park created decades ago.

She says knowing the city wants to demolish the park's rec center is heartbreaking.

"To see how pretty it was and how well it was kept up then all at once, I don't know what happened to the money or anything," Wilma Harding said. "They let it get in this shape and now they want to demolish it."

Harding is one of the six Tulsans who are suing the city for their plans to tear down the building.

Tulsa Parks Department says Franklin and several other rec centers are too expensive to repair, so they're left with no other option than to tear them down.

However, Harding and others in this room say money was slated at one time to go to Franklin.

"We have tried to find out where the money is, how we can fix B.C. up and with all these questions, nobody would tell us anything," Harding said.

So members of North Tulsa are coming together to help pay for the lawsuit.

"Money has been spent. Money has been made, appropriated for those parks, so we need to get that money, put it into the parks and let the kids enjoy in their own community their own parks," NAACP president Rev. Warren Blakney said.

At 19 years old, Stephen Williams says B.C. Franklin has had a valuable impact on his life and he'd hate to see it destroyed.

"I would just be upset," Williams said. "The real issue that I have with it is [the city] making plans without the community being involved in their decisions."

And that's exactly why supporters won't give up.

"We need to be more mindful of these children. This is our tomorrow," Harding said.