Local groups not upset about Oklahoma Aquarium opening delays

Thursday, April 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma Aquarium is still not open and we don't know when it will be, but many people have booked events there. As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg tells us, the groups can come, but there’s not a lot to see.

A pamphlet from the Multiple Sclerosis Society announces Family Day at the Aquarium on May 3rd, which might seem strange considering the Aquarium isn't finished and hasn't set an opening date. But the fact is, lots of groups, more than 150 according to the aquarium, have had and are having events, with the knowledge that the aquarium might not be ready. Susan Bramsch, the Aquarium's Operating Officer says, "All events that we have booked states in the contract that we will be at various levels of construction."

In fact, the spokeswoman for the MS Society says they knew the aquarium might not be ready. At the same time though, she said they are disappointed and she says they booked the event in September or October last year when she says the opening date was set for January or February. Bramsch says "no one has been purchasing or booking an event under the assumption that I'm aware of that we're 100% completed."

Few would probably assume that now with all the missed deadlines. The latest published report says about 20% of the exhibits are ready. The MS Society spokeswoman says the aquarium told them to expect some empty tanks. When we asked Bramsch if she had any regrets about the aquarium not being complete in time for the event or if she regarded it as a failure for the aquarium, she said "no".

We want to make it clear the MS Society doesn't have any ill will toward the aquarium, doesn't feel deceived, but the question we would pose to anyone would be, did you expect 20% or 100%?

The Oklahoma Aquarium says they are not going to set an opening date until 70% of the exhibits are ready to go.