Tulsa County's '4 To Fix the County' seeing progress

Monday, July 8th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some Fair fixes have begun showing up on the outside of one of Tulsa's largest public buildings. The exposition center at the fairgrounds is changing colors.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says he’s not sure if anyone will miss it, but the familiar orange of the exposition center soon will be history. The makeover is part of bigger plan to revamp the fairgrounds. One side of the exposition center is still construction barrel orange - but on the other side, painters are covering the orange with beige - the first step towards the new color - shiny silver gray.

County commissioner Bob Dick, “The orange is going away, it's going to be kind of a gray silver. The real exciting part of that is that when they get through with the painting, we're going to run fiber optics up the middle cable of all those piers so we can light that building up at night.”

The Expo paint job is one of the major projects from the "4 to Fix the County" program - $50-million worth of improvements to county property. The fairgrounds barns have been rebuilt - and are open for a major horse show coming this week. And it's the last month to play the old LaFortune Golf course. Repair work begins in August and the course will be closed all winter long. “It's one of the nicer courses in Tulsa, it's pretty wide open.”

Kevin Gilliam and his friends are regulars at LaFortune - and welcome the coming improvements. “Everything can be better I guess, you know.”

The road projects haven't begun - but one of the biggest is the widening of 76th Street North from the Cherokee Industrial Park all the way into Owasso. But those improvements might one day be forgotten. The changes at the fairgrounds will be visible for decades to come - with the new paint job on the exposition center - topped with lights over the entire building. “I think it will become a new icon for Tulsa.”

The paint job is due to be finished by the start of the State Fair in late September. The barns and several other projects will be done then too - all together, the biggest change to the fairgrounds in the last 25 years.