News On 6 Milestone Towers Over Downtown Tulsa

Thursday, January 5th 2012, 10:45 pm

Tulsa's skyline has another feature, a new communications tower 30 stories tall.

Griffin Communications, the parent company of News On 6, is building the tower alongside a new media center in the Brady District.

The tower is a key addition to the construction site on the north side of downtown.

The SkyNews6 hangar is finished, and Thursday the tower was raised overlooking the foundation of a new building for News On 6.

Politicians call it progress when there's a crane in the air, but at News On 6, the giant crane downtown, means something more.

"It absolutely is a milestone," said Marvin Shirley.

Marvin Shirley is the project manager for what's becoming Griffin Communications new Media Center downtown.

He and Jack Mills, Vice President of Griffin's Tower operations, both watched the construction of a new tower for the new studio.

The base was set in place Wednesday, on piers 34 feet deep and 3 feet around. It takes that much to hold a 305-foot tower in place.

"We have to be able to be high enough to shoot a signal across the interstate as it wraps around, to the tower in Oneta," Shirley said.

The crane lifted section after section into place, as men waited to bolt them all together. The tower will link the News On 6 studio, just across Cincinnati Avenue in the Brady District to the station's broadcast tower outside of town.

"We started this project over a year ago. It took that long to get city state and federal approvals," said Jack Mills.

Like all big projects, there was a slight delay, a couple of hours to attach the last extension on the crane. That slowed progress on the top sections. The men up there did all they could, but ended up just hanging out for a while to wait.

"They've been up there waiting for about 2 hours for the crane to get ready so they may be getting a little antsy," Mills said.

But finally, the last pieces went soaring overhead, topping out the tower, completing another phase of construction for Griffin Communications.

The tower was topped off just before dark when the strobe light was turned on.  A lot more work is ahead, 2-3 months more just to get all the wiring connected.

News On 6 will move into the new media center toward the end of this year.