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Inside look: MAPS 3 convention center progresses

The MAPS 3 convention center and Scissortail Park are beginning to look like they were made for each other.

MAPS 3 project managers led a tour Friday of the convention center construction site on S Robinson Avenue, where work began about nine months ago, excavating dirt and digging up utilities.

Since then, piers have been drilled to support the 550,000-square-foot building, concrete foundations and slabs have been poured, and steel for the distinctive facade and soaring roofline has been erected.

Currently due to be ready by Sept. 5, 2020, the nearly $300 million convention center is a highly anticipated addition to Oklahoma City's tourism and convention trade.

With a glass facade angled slightly to the northwest to reduce summer sun, the building includes three levels of meeting rooms and upper level ballrooms with terrace overlooking the park.

It will have a 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, bigger than three football fields and a match for the new Bennett Event Center at State Fair Park. Plans are for 45,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

Meeting rooms in the convention center will be matched with meeting space in Omni's new luxury hotel, across SW 4 Street directly north of the convention center. Hotel construction also is under way.

A demolition contractor has begun clearing the parcel west of the hotel, where an 1,100-space parking garage paired with retail and apartments is timed to open at the same time as the convention center and hotel.

The convention center complex occupies frontage on the new Oklahoma City Boulevard. Convention-goers will have a short walk to the Oklahoma City Streetcar line and Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Architects promised a convention center designed for 21st century meetings.

Architect Adam Paulitsch said in 2016 modern convention center design is "about visitor hospitality; it's about apps on your phone and connecting with friends at the show."

The MAPS 3 park will help make those connections.

Due to open this September, upper Scissortail Park is directly across Robinson, to the west. A redesigned Robinson Avenue will include a major pedestrian passage from convention center to park.

Paulitsch said the relationship between the meeting hall and more than 30 acres of green space, including a lake and outdoor performing arts venue, is unique in the convention industry.

Related Photos
<strong>Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</strong>

Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a4e334f08d4e5b40d9e4e31bce8b0329.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman " title=" Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a521dcba8d442b116f1198eeca6fa9fb.jpg" alt="Photo - Southwest corner. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman " title=" Southwest corner. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Southwest corner. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b05f48abd57e44768f0640cfbac90cfa.jpg" alt="Photo - The MAPS 3 convention center is expected to open by autumn 2020 after 26 months of construction. Steel erected so far helps viewers visualize the glass facade and roofline. [Populous/GSB/City of Oklahoma City] " title=" The MAPS 3 convention center is expected to open by autumn 2020 after 26 months of construction. Steel erected so far helps viewers visualize the glass facade and roofline. [Populous/GSB/City of Oklahoma City] "><figcaption> The MAPS 3 convention center is expected to open by autumn 2020 after 26 months of construction. Steel erected so far helps viewers visualize the glass facade and roofline. [Populous/GSB/City of Oklahoma City] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1580ce44fe4c21cac2970b64b98a70f8.jpg" alt="Photo - North end of the convention center. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="North end of the convention center. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>North end of the convention center. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eda1c1563c3f2face214297d29715498.jpg" alt="Photo - View from what will be the SE corner of the main exhibit hall, which is as large as four football fields. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="View from what will be the SE corner of the main exhibit hall, which is as large as four football fields. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>View from what will be the SE corner of the main exhibit hall, which is as large as four football fields. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b942a970feea2653686725acc12514c7.jpg" alt="Photo - Robinson Ave. side. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="Robinson Ave. side. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Robinson Ave. side. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5e54a2c07c3c3fff924608f4b06c9262.jpg" alt="Photo - Main stair case on the north end. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="Main stair case on the north end. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Main stair case on the north end. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bc693eaa1f1f3509ac584979cb31ac92.jpg" alt="Photo - View of Scissortail Park from the second story above Robinson Ave. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="View of Scissortail Park from the second story above Robinson Ave. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>View of Scissortail Park from the second story above Robinson Ave. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9648e51ade508ba0ebeea155ccb3ca3e.jpg" alt="Photo - Second floor northwest corner of the main exhibit hall which is large enough for four football fields. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="Second floor northwest corner of the main exhibit hall which is large enough for four football fields. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Second floor northwest corner of the main exhibit hall which is large enough for four football fields. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a98b0a7a928b91f2e106f2bb0ab08722.jpg" alt="Photo - City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-68917cf8b74a66779a5af25a13e4a349.jpg" alt="Photo - A worker inventories I-beams. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="A worker inventories I-beams. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A worker inventories I-beams. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f2fb990281596a72418c00d0332d2eac.jpg" alt="Photo - Southwest corner. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="Southwest corner. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Southwest corner. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f2ab657f842245c11f13055c9676e8af.jpg" alt="Photo - Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Workers assemble rebar for flooring. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c11b3102b9977417ffff6204d0eb6712.jpg" alt="Photo - A worker adjusts the flame of his welding torch. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman" title="A worker adjusts the flame of his welding torch. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A worker adjusts the flame of his welding torch. City of Oklahoma City tour of the construction site for the new convention center, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman. Read more ›

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