BOK Center Debut Stalled

The opening of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., will be delayed several months while its designers figure out what to do about $32 million in cost overruns.

Tulsa Vision Builders Project Director Bart Boatright told the Tulsa World that the April 2008 opening could be pushed back to August.

“The time frame is really dependent on the outcome of our analysis and what we end up recommending,” he said. “If there’s anything in our ability to reduce that delay, we will certainly do so.”

To bring down costs, representatives of the arena’s design team are reportedly discussing changes in the $141 million project’s design, its construction methods or the materials used.

Bids were opened in late April for materials including concrete, masonry, drywall, glass, steel and electrical, mechanical functions and plumbing. Those bids reportedly came in at $101 million but engineers had budgeted $69 million, the World said.

Mayor Kathy Taylor declined to say if she’d seek additional public funds besides the Vision 2025 sales tax approved by voters in 2003 to finance the project.

“I don’t think it’s prudent to speculate on the success that they will have and the alternatives that they might present to the city,” she told the newspaper. “I think we need to wait and act responsibly on the data that our professionals are going to provide us.”

Taylor added that the design team had warned there could be cost increases of as high as 30 percent in materials, labor and equipment in the wake of last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes. Vision Builders projected increases between 4 percent and 7 percent.

Boatright said a list of options regarding the project’s schedule, budget and design were being put together for consideration.

SMG will manage the 18,000-capacity venue designed by architect Cesar Pelli once completed.