The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 14, 2013

Somebody, please, finish it

NORMAN — Transferring the unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum from one state entity to another won’t get the building completed any quicker.

Lawmakers moved the Native Americal Cultural and Education Authority to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

The problem is a lack of commitment on the part of the legislature to finish the museum at Interstate 35 and Interstate 40. The state boarded up the project after pumping $97 million into it. The federal government is in for about $15 million, and tribes and other donors have put up another $8 million.

Private donations totaling about $40 million have been solicited with the notion that the state would match the money with bond funds.

The Historical Society will do a great job with the museum, but they have other ongoing interests. They want to build a popular cultural museum in Tulsa and can do it by merely extending the current bonds on the historical society building northeast of the Capitol.

As it stands today, the building is deteriorating and sits as an embarrassment to all who pass by on the highways.

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