The Norman Transcript


March 20, 2014

Let’s finish the museum

NORMAN — We hope that we can count Norman area state House members among the legislative supporters of the bill to complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.

The state Senate has already approved a bill to draw down $40 million from the state’s unclaimed property fund to complete the 173,000-square-foot museum sitting unfinished along the North Canadian River at the crossroads of Interstate 35 and I-40 in Oklahoma City.

Construction on the long-promised center stopped in summer 2012 when the project ran out of money. If the state’s money comes through, proponents expect the building to be complete and open to the public by 2017.

That $40 million state money would be mixed with $40 million in private and public pledges. The state, tribes and other contributors have spent about $91 million to date and is now spending $68,000 a month just to keep the pigeons out and the site secure.

Lawmakers have been reluctant for the state to take on any more debt. Taking money from the unclaimed property fund is not the best solution, but it appears to be one that many House members can swallow.

As it is, the vacant, enormous shell of a building is an embarrassment to Oklahoma and a major-league slight to the 39 recognized tribes that call the state home.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014