Expo Square improvements

Saturday, April 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you've been to the Tulsa County fairgrounds you've seen all the improvements that were made last year. But now they're in phase 2, which will double the scope of the project.

News on Six reporter Steve Berg visited Expo Square and explains that phase 1 had $21-million worth of improvements. Now phase 2 adds another $20-million of goodies.

Officials say there hasn't been nearly this much stuff going on since the Expo Square was first built. It’s an exciting time for the folks at the fairgrounds. And as they gear up for a new season, they think visitors will be impressed too. Denny Tuttle, Expo Square manager, "The last project that was done that was paid for by the citizens was the Expo building and that was almost 40 years ago. They're going to see a whole new look, especially on the North side of the grounds, so we're excited about it."

Expo Square will get a new entrance on the North side of the building where most of the people park. The venerable old structure will get a facelift with a new paint scheme. And inside, the restrooms and concession areas will be completely revamped.

Expo officials will also be tapping other accounts beyond the Phase 2 money to make some much-needed repairs to the roof. This weekend's rainstorms exposed the Expo's trouble up top. “I did know that we had some leaks this weekend and we're also working on putting a bid together to repair the roof."

There is more with phase 2 as well. New show barns are being added to ones that were built last year. And there will be more landscaping improvements throughout the fairgrounds. Officials say it adds up to more business. "Shows that wouldn't used to call us in the past are now returning calls and wanting dates."

With so many sweeping improvements, the expo officials say this time-honored Tulsa landmark is on the verge of a golden age. There is some controversy where the roof is concerned.

Some think more phase 2, money should have been targeted for it. But Expo manager Denny Tuttle says the upcoming repairs will do the job until the roof can be replaced. That will happen in about five years.