Steel Work Begins At BOK Center

Wednesday, February 21st 2007, 10:17 am
By: News On 6

Another milestone in the construction of the BOk Center in downtown Tulsa was reached on Wednesday. The first shipment of structural steel for the building arrived. The steel is important, because it will be used in the outer walls of the BOk Center.

News On 6’ Emory Bryan reports a semi carried the first load of structural steel for the walls of the BOk Center onto the construction site. It was unloaded and more trucks will soon be enroute, delivering 4,000 tons of steel. "It's a fairly long process, and we're just hitting the beginning of it," says Bart Boatright with Tulsa Vision Builders.

Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor considers it a milestone, as construction moves from the interior concrete walls to the exterior steel walls. “You'll really be able to see that beautiful shape that Cesar Pelli designed.” The construction site is busy with crews laying the plumbing lines and building what's going to be the basement level.

The concrete pieces that look like stair steps in the bowl area of the arena mark the angle of the seats rising from the bowl. Once the steel goes up, the shape of the building is really going to become evident. The construction of the outer walls will go clockwise around the building and once it's up, those walls will attach to it. The outside walls will be steel and glass. The steel, which began arriving on Wednesday, is what will support those walls and the roof of the building.

Altogether, the steel is 15 percent of the total cost of the arena, which the mayor says is generating some interest, but so far, no commitments for events. "Not yet, it's a little too early, but in the next 6 months, we'll start to see those," says Mayor Kathy Taylor.

An added note, those truckloads of steel arrive in the order in which the steel is needed on the ground. Officials say there is no room to store it all on site.

To view a LIVE picture of BOk Center construction project, click here.